Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
INDIANAPOLIS – Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota continues to improve health-wise this offseason, and he should be ready to go when the team begins the offseason program in April.
That’s according to Titans coach Mike Vrabel, who spoke to a group of reporters separately on Wednesday after his scheduled media appearance here at the NFL Combine.
“I know that he’s ready to get back at it,” Vrabel said of Mariota. “Just having the conversations, and the text messages that we’ve had, and checking it with him. And he checks in on us, so it’s been good.
“I think he’s been seen by some doctors and I would anticipate him being ready to go when we get back here in April.”
Mariota missed the team’s season-finale against the Colts. He’s spent a good chunk of this offseason back home in Hawaii.
Concerns about a nerve injury – and how it could impact his future – played a role in the decision for him to sit the final game out. The decision was made by doctors, team officials, and Mariota.
Mariota received several opinions on the nerve condition that lingered all season, including one from a top neck and spinal nerve doctor located in Los Angeles, which was recommended by the team.
At the end of the season, Mariota said he was told rest would allow time for the nerve to heal, and he’d eventually get back to 100 percent.
Mariota started 13 of the team’s 16 games in 2018, and played in 14 of 16. He finished the year with 2,528 passing yards with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He set the franchise record with a completion percentage of 68.9 %.
Vrabel said the Titans need to get better around Mariota in 2019.
He said Mariota could take some steps to improve himself.
“And Marcus, too,” Vrabel said. “Just like everybody else, they have to be prepared, they have to be able to be coachable, they have to have a presence in the second year of our offense, and have fun playing the game. And continue to work, and lead. I think that’s the biggest thing we’re asking all of our guys to do, going in to our second year in the system.”