Marcus Mariota took majority of reps, in line to return

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Marcus Mariota was listed as a full participant in the Tennessee Titans' practice on Wednesday.

The rookie quarterback didn’t take all the reps but got the majority, and the Titans are optimistic his left knee will respond and lead to expanded work and the start Sunday in New Orleans.

Mariota missed the last two games with a grade 2 MCL sprain suffered on a flagged and fined low hit from Miami’s Olivier Vernon on Oct. 18.

“It’s continue to monitor, it felt good today,” Mariota said. “But again it’s going to be kind of a collective decision throughout the week whether or not I’ll be ready to go.”

Interim coach Mike Mularkey said the team wants to be smart with Mariota.

“We’re approaching it (as if he’ll be back) but we’re also being smart about it with the number of reps,” interim coach Mike Mularkey said. “We didn’t go right in there and throw a full practice at him. He did the majority of it.”

The Titans may have Jeremiah Poutasi flip to right tackle from left guard and Byron Bell from left guard to right tackle as they look to pass protect better. They changed positions Wednesday but nothing is set yet.

Mularkey said better protection for Mariota is “imperative” and we could see more from tight ends and backs as well as quicker drops.