Titans QB Mariota practices ahead of Colts showdown

The Tennessee Titans got a boost Thursday as starting quarterback Marcus Mariota returned to the practice field, albeit in a limited fashion, three days ahead of a virtual postseason play-in game this Sunday when the Titans (9-6) host Indianapolis (9-6).An AFC wild-card berth at worst is on the line this weekend for the winner and the loser will be eliminated from playoff contention — meaning all eyes have been focused on the status of Mariota, who had not practiced this week until Thursday after being knocked out of last Sunday’s win at Washington with a stinger.The four-year veteran Mariota was seen throwing passes during the open portion of Titans practice. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel sounded cautiously optimistic about his starting QB, who has missed two games with injuries and been knocked out of three others this season.”He did some stuff just to make sure that we are progressing along. I think that’s the most important thing,” Vrabel told local media after practice. “He didn’t take reps that he would normally take, but he took enough to feel like we can move on to tomorrow.”Mariota was sacked late in the first half during Tennessee’s 25-16 win in Week 16, the seventh time he has left a game because of injury in his career.The 25-year-old quarterback did not address reporters Thursday, but said on his weekly radio show Wednesday that he is doing “everything in my power” to be on the field against the Colts.

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