The broken right fibula sustained by Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota got lost in the shuffle a bit nationally, especially with the dominant Oakland Raiders losing Derek Carr to a broken leg around the same time.
But Mariota, and the Titans' brass, want everyone to know that he's going to be fine and that their playoff push last year was just the beginning.
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During a season-ticket holder event Wednesday, Mariota offered the following via video statement:
"I wish I could be there with you guys to relive the 2016 season," Mariota said. "It was an incredible one filled with a lot of fun moments. I am currently here in Oregon, getting healthy and going through my recovery process. I look forward to getting back to Nashville, and getting the 2017 season under way."
The team's official site also quoted coach Mike Mularkey saying Mariota is "doing very well" and is "on pace," while general manager Jon Robinson said "the most important thing for us is to make sure that he's healthy for Week 1."
Mariota has yet to get the credit he deserves for the immense growth he showed during the 2016 season. His 3,426 passing yards for 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions (in addition to 349 rushing yards and two touchdowns) was reminiscent statistically of Russell Wilson's first two seasons in the NFL (both Pro Bowl years). The only difference between the two right now might be a once-in-a-generation pass defense.
Like Carr, the hope is that Mariota can enjoy a full offseason program and build where he left off. While the belief is that the NFL is entering a quarterback crisis, the emergence of players like Mariota lend hope for the near future.