NASHVILLE – Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota looked around the practice field on Wednesday and saw something he hadn’t seen all offseason.
When the team began practice, Mariota had all of his key weapons around him – running back Derrick Henry, receiver Adam Humphries, receiver Corey Davis, tight end Delanie Walker, and receiver A.J. Brown, along with tight end Jonnu Smith.
It marked the first time that had been the case all offseason, and it happened on the 20th practice of training camp. Henry and Brown left during individual drills way back on July 26 and they just recently returned. Smith was taken off the team’s Physically Unable to Perform list earlier this week, and Davis and Walker returned on Wednesday after missing earlier in the week.
Receivers Tajae Sharpe, Taywan Taylor and Darius Jennings are among those who’ve been available since the start of camp.
“Absolutely, it was nice to have everybody out there,” Mariota said. “At the same time, for someone like Jonnu, who is coming off a major injury like that, just all the hard work that he put in to get to the point where he’s at now, it’s really cool for him.
“It’s an opportunity for us to get better, and it was nice to see everybody out there.”
Mariota completed 6-of-9 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown – an 11-yard strike to Walker – this past Saturday against the Patriots. Mariota was replaced by back-up quarterback Ryan Tannehill at the start of the second quarter.
In Week One of the preseason, Mariota played just one series at Philadelphia.
The starters are expected to get their most extensive playing time this Sunday in preseason game No.3 against the Steelers.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel acknowledged things are trending in the right direction as the team prepares for Sunday’s game, and with the regular season closing in, although it remains to be seen if everyone plays against the Steelers.
The Titans face the Cleveland Browns in the regular season opener on September 8.
“Being able to work some guys back in there that maybe haven’t been with us since the beginning of camp – Derrick and Jonnu – it’s been good to see some of those guys back,” Vrabel said. “We’re starting to see some good things.
“It’s helpful for the team, that’s what I care about. I care that we start coming together as a team, as a unit, offensively and defensively.”
The Tennessee Titans practice on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donald Page)