Marcus Mariota 'Getting Better', Expected to Play Week 4 After Elbow Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2018

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 23:  Marcus Mariota #8 of the Tennessee Titans looks to pass the football during their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on September 23, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel confirmed Wednesday he plans to start Marcus Mariota at quarterback for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported. 

"I think it's getting better every day," Vrabel said of Mariota's injured elbow, per The Athletic's Travis Haney. "I think there’s some confidence there."

Blaine Gabbert took over as Tennessee's starter for the last two games while Mariota dealt with a nerve issue in his elbow that resulted in numbness and tingling in his right hand.

Gabbert suffered a concussion in the Titans' 9-6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, though, which pressed Mariota to resume his regular duties under center. He finished the game 12-of-18 for 100 yards.

Mariota's numbers illustrate the fact he was less than 100 percent in Week 3 and that the Titans had to work around that. Vrabel said that shouldn't be the case against Philadelphia, per the Tennessean's Joe Rexrode:

Joe Rexrode @joerexrode

Vrabel says he doesn’t think the playbook needs to be scaled back for Mariota considering the improvement in his hand this week.

Gabbert's concussion added even more urgency to Mariota's recovery because Austin Davis would be the next man up if Mariota were unavailable. The Titans announced Tuesday they signed Davis and added him to the 53-man roster.

Davis hasn't started a regular-season game since the final week of 2015, so going with him against the defending Super Bowl champions would be a recipe for disaster.


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