How healthy the quarterback would be on Sunday remains to be seen after he suffered an MCL sprain early in Sunday's blowout loss to the Miami Dolphins. That Mariota remained in the game until late in the contest was surprising. The rookie was clearly hobbling and wasn't close to full mobility. The Dolphins took advantage of a less than 100 percent quarterback, smothering him with the pass rush and jumping routes, knowing the rookie could no longer beat him with his feet.
It was partly astonishing that coach Ken Whisenhunt left his franchise signal-caller in the game with the injury, but it's not the first time the quarterback has played through injury.
Mariota said Wednesday he played with an MCL injury in college and added that if he needs to slap on a knee brace to play Sunday, he will.
"We'll continue to see how (Mariota) progresses," he said. "When he can go, he'll go."
If Mariota plays Sunday hopefully it's because he's healthy and not just gutting it out. Having finally found a franchise quarterback with titanic potential, Tennessee doesn't need to risk long-term damage to the face of the organization.