Titans QB Mariota practices, likely to start against Texans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota fully participated in Friday’s practice and is expected to start Monday night’s road game against the AFC South-leading Houston Texans.

Mariota suffered a stinger Sunday in a 38-10 loss at Indianapolis and didn’t play in the second half of that game. He was limited in Wednesday and Thursday’s work but got the green light from head coach Mike Vrabel on Friday to start, barring an unforeseen setback.

“He felt better,” Vrabel said. “We’ve got to keep working. … He looked good today, but that’s why you practice. You try to always improve and get better and fix the things you didn’t have right. He was not limited.”

Mariota missed the first meeting between the Titans and Texans on Sept. 16 in Nashville. The Titans won that game 20-17 with backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert under center and with the help of a fake punt touchdown.

Advertisement

While Mariota was a full participant on Friday, defensive coordinator Dean Pees was absent from the afternoon practice.

Pees spent Sunday night in an Indianapolis hospital due to a medical issue. Pees returned to practice Wednesday and Thursday, but Vrabel wanted him to rest on Friday and excused him from practice.

“Dean was tired today, and I asked him to go home,” Vrabel said. “I wanted him to get some rest. I’m trying to get Dean to Monday night, just like I am all the players. The plan was simply, ‘Hey, Dean, why do you go get some rest? Why don’t you go get some sleep?’ That’s what I felt like was best to try to get him to the game.”

Also, left tackle Taylor Lewan was out of Friday’s practice due to illness. Running back David Fluellen remains out with a knee injury.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.