Titans QB Marcus Mariota "absolutely" hopes to play vs Colts
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By TERESA M. WALKER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota says he feels a lot better than a week ago. Whether he plays Monday night against the Indianapolis Colts will depend on how much Mariota can move around.
The quarterback himself has a quick answer on how good he feels his chances really are.
"Absolutely," Mariota said Wednesday.
Mariota did not play last week in a 16-10 loss to Miami because of a strained left hamstring. The Titans (2-3) practiced Wednesday, taking advantage of an extra day.
"I was able to participate in a good amount of practice," Mariota said. "I wasn't able to do everything, but being able to be out here with the guys, doing some stuff, was big."
Coach Mike Mularkey says he's hoping Mariota can play and always supports what his quarterback thinks. Mariota doing more Wednesday than he did last week was a good sign, according to Mularkey. The real key will be Mariota's mobility.
"He's got to be able to move around really pretty good to be able to play and not put himself in a position that he's going to re-injure himself," Mularkey said. "He's got to show that by the end of the week."
The Titans certainly could use their starter back trying to snap a two-game skid. If Mariota plays, it would be the third prime-time game of his career. The first two were Thursday night games against Jacksonville, and Mariota has the third-highest passer rating in prime-time games for quarterbacks with at least two games played since 2015 at 108.9.
Mariota has completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 501 yards under the lights with two touchdown passes and no interceptions. He also ran for a 23-yard TD in his first prime-time game at Jacksonville in 2015.
From Hawaii, he said growing up he wanted to play on Monday night and hopes he gets that opportunity in his first chance in the NFL.
"Obviously, it's fun to play on prime time, it's fun to do those things," Mariota said. "The atmosphere is going to be great. To get up for the game, you take it just as any other game. You get ready and prepare and just go out and play ball."
First, Mariota has to continue improving each day.
"Hopefully toward the end of the week, I get more on my plate and I feel comfortable to try and play on Monday," Mariota said.
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Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker
Updated October 11, 2017