Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is back on the gridiron in a limited capacity after he suffered a broken leg in December, and he told reporters Tuesday he's making encouraging progress with organized team activities underway.
"It felt great," Mariota said of his return to the field, per ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky. "Four months ago I wasn't sure I was going to be able to participate in OTAs and being able to do some of the drills through practice, it (says) a lot about my progress and my recovery. I was very happy and very grateful to be out there."
"For me, I was just really excited to get back on the field," Mariota added, according to Jim Wyatt of the team's official website. "I was excited. I was like a little kid again to be able to go out there and to play. It’s crazy, you kind of take some of those things for granted so for me I was just thankful to be out there."
Before he suffered a broken leg on Christmas Eve against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mariota stitched together an impressive sophomore season for an improving Titans team.
In 15 starts, the 23-year-old completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed 60 times for 349 yards and two scores.
And as Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo noted, Mariota took "advantage of a strong Tennessee running game to hit a number of deep throws off play action." DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry combined for 1,677 rushing yards, which made defenses susceptible to the play-action attack.
Sprinkle in the addition of first-round pick Corey Davis, and the Titans appear primed for even more improvement as they attempt to claim their first playoff berth since 2008.