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Mariota practices for Titans, expected to play vs. Texans
By TERESA M. WALKER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota practiced fully Wednesday after being knocked out of Tennessee's season opener when he hurt the elbow on his right, throwing arm.
Barring any setbacks, Titans coach Mike Vrabel expects his quarterback to play Sunday.
"He's feeling good," Vrabel said. "He was able to practice. He had some rest there Monday and Tuesday, and so he was able to get through and do everything and really looked OK."
That's when the Titans (0-1) host rival Houston (0-1) in an early AFC South showdown.
Mariota briefly left the 27-20 loss in Miami after a late hit from Dolphins end William Hayes after a handoff. Vrabel said the NFL told him that play should have been flagged as a late hit on the quarterback. Mariota returned but left for good after his second interception in a game that was the league's longest since at least the NFL/AFL merger in 1970 due to lightning.
The quarterback said after the game he experienced some numbness in his right hand.
"I'm feeling pretty good, kind of taking it one day at a time," Mariota said. "But I was able to go through practice today, and it felt pretty good."
Mariota has missed at least one game each of his first three seasons with Tennessee , and a variety of leg injuries have kept the No. 2 overall draft pick out of six games. The Titans are 1-5 in those games, and three of those came against Houston. Mariota left a 57-14 rout last October with an injured hamstring.
The quarterback said he has never had this type of injury before and that he still had some tingling in his hand Wednesday. In the portion of practice open to reporters, Mariota's passes didn't appear to have his usual velocity. Both Vrabel and Mariota dismissed any concerns.
"I didn't have the Jugs gun out so it was kind of hard to tell," Vrabel said. "But for the most part, it looked like it was getting to where it was supposed to be. ... I didn't notice a huge difference."
Mariota said he didn't notice any difference, though the spin of the ball coming out of his hand might've been a bit different.
"I don't think velocity is a problem, the rotation of it maybe," Mariota said. "But with that being said, as long as it gets there, it doesn't matter how it looks."
The Titans already have lost Mariota's favorite pass threat with tight end Delanie Walker having surgery Wednesday on the right ankle he broke late in the Dolphins' game. Two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan was sent home Wednesday by the Titans as he continues in the concussion protocol after being knocked out of the opener as well.
Right tackle Jack Conklin remains limited as he works his way back after tearing his left ACL in January.
And the Titans added wide receiver Corey Davis to the injury report Wednesday. Davis, who led Tennessee with six catches for 62 yards in Miami, was limited with an injured hamstring.
Notes: Vrabel said he did hear from the NFL that the hit on Mariota should've been flagged for a late hit on the quarterback. ... Rookie LB Rashaan Evans (hamstring) practiced fully. The 22nd pick overall out of Alabama missed each preseason game and the opener. LB Harold Landry (ankle) did not practice along with S Kendrick Lewis (foot). LB Derrick Morgan (knee) was limited.
Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker
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Updated September 12, 2018