Marcus Mariota will start under center for the Titans in his first appearance since last December's injury

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Marcus Mariota will start in the Tennessee Titans' first preseason game Saturday at the New York Jets, coach Mike Mularkey said Monday following practice.

"I don't want to see what (Mariota) would do if I told him he couldn't play," Mularkey joked.

The Titans quarterback has not played since breaking his right leg Dec. 24 in a game at the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he has been a full participant throughout training camp. Over the past week, he has been willing to scramble, slide and use his legs to move around the pocket. He took off on a couple of read-option runs during Monday night's practice as well.

"It's important for him to get into a real game," Mularkey said. "It'll be good to get his feet wet."

There's a good chance he'll be hit for the first time since last December, too. Mariota admitted it may be good to get the cobwebs off in that department, but he won't receive too much contact if the Titans' offensive line does its job.

Mularkey said the coaching staff will decide other personnel decisions relating to the game Thursday night.