Mariota injury forced Titans to alter schemes


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Quarterback Marcus Mariota‘s mobility was limited for much of the Tennessee Titans35-14 playoff loss to the New England Patriots on Saturday because of a strained quad.

Mariota suffered the injury on a first-quarter run, according to Titans coach Mike Mularkey.

“It had an impact, obviously,” Mularkey said. “We had to get out of some of our scheme we had with him, some of our zone scheme.”

Mariota didn’t use his injury as an excuse, saying after the game that “everybody plays with something.” He was visibly upset, however, and said he was “embarrassed.”

“You don’t play to come and lose in the divisional playoff,” Mariota said. “You play to go win the whole thing.”

Mariota’s injury looked apparent in the second half as he appeared to labor through a run. He finished 22-of-37 for 254 yards and two touchdowns and also had four rushes for 37 yards.

Mariota battled injuries to a hamstring, knee and shoulder in his third NFL season, after returning from the broken leg he suffered late in the 2016 season.

He can take solace in knowing that in 2018 he can focus on improvement rather than rehab for the first time since his rookie season.

“Hopefully people use this as motivation,” Mariota said. “Yeah, it’s nice to get in the playoffs, but you don’t play just to get in.”

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