Marcus Mariota has shed the walking boot on his surgically repaired right leg and is back home in Hawaii, where the Titans’ franchise quarterback is running on the beach as part of his rehab from a broken fibula suffered Dec. 24 in Jacksonville. He expects to be ready for training camp.
“The opportunity to come home, to relax, to see family, to hang out with friends, to enjoy some of the sun and the beach, it really rejuvenates me,” Mariota said in an on-camera interview with KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello on Monday in Hawaii. “It gives me an opportunity to get healthy mentally along with getting healthy physically. With all the eyes and ears that I’ve kind of had around me, this process has been really good and I’m in a good spot.”
Mariota, who was hosting a golf tournament fundraiser for his Motiv8 Foundation at the Oahu Country Club in Nuuanu, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that his rehab since Dec. 28 surgery “is going a little better than planned.”
Mariota originally was given a four- to five-month timetable for his recovery. He expects to return to Nashville for the start of organized team activities in late May, and said his ability to take part in OTAs will be re-evaluated at that time.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey has said the team will be overly cautious with Mariota, who is entering his third season since being drafted out of Oregon with the second overall pick in 2015. Mariota has yet to play a complete 16-game season, missing four games with knee injuries as a rookie and last year’s season finale.
“There are different things both on and off the field that I can learn from (the injury),” Mariota said to KHON, “and it’s given me an opportunity to realize how special the game really is, and how special my opportunity really is to play, and every time I step on the field to just enjoy it because you don’t really know when the last one could come up.”
Mariota, who has spent much of the offseason at Oregon, told KHON that he has hit all of the Titans’ benchmarks in his recovery.
“And for me it’s been very beneficial to be in so many different places, whether it was at Oregon or here, back home,” Mariota said, “because I have an opportunity to use the facilities up at Oregon and then I have an opportunity here back home to do some of the training stuff that I’ve always done, whether it’s running on the beach, certain things like that that will allow me to push the rehab process, but at the same time not push it too far where I’m overextending myself.
“As long as I continue on this path, I’ll be ready to go once fall comes around.”