Marcus Mariota still hopes to return against Colts

Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) hands the ball off to running back DeMarco Murray (29) during an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
AP Photo/Wade Payne

The Tennessee Titans will have an extra day to prepare for the team’s third divisional matchup of the 2017-18 regular season, a Monday evening matchup against the rival Indianapolis Colts. As a result, injured quarterback Marcus Mariota will also have some extra time to recover from his strained hamstring.

While notably missing the Titans’ Week 5 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Mariota is now hopeful that he will be able to return on Monday evening against the Colts.

“I feel a lot better,” Mariota recently said, via the team’s official website. “I have to give a lot of credit to the athletic staff, the training staff here. They’ve done a great job, and I am feeling good.”

The former No. 2 overall NFL Draft pick originally sustained the lingering hamstring injury during the Titans’ Week 4 blowout loss at the hands of the Houston Texans.

“We’re going to take it day by day,” Mariota added. “It’s really no different than the process last week. As the days go on, hopefully I’ll feel better and better. It is just taking it one day at a time and hopefully I’ll be able to go. Hopefully towards the end of the week I’ll get more on my plate and hopefully I’ll feel comfortable to try and play on Monday.”

Although the Titans have already reiterated that the franchise would not rush Mariota back into the lineup, Matt Cassel’s performance against the Dolphins was surely a cause for concern.

“He did more [on Wednesday] than he did last week, and that’s a good sign,” said Titans head coach Mike Mularkey. “He’s got to be able to move around pretty good to be able to play, and not put himself in a position where he is going to re-injure himself. He has to prove that by the end of the week.”

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