"I feel great," Mariota told WGFX-FM in Nashville on Thursday. "Overall, we're in a good spot. I'm probably another week or two from really full-head running, but I'm starting to do some jogging and more things on my end, which is a positive movement. Again, they think I'm ahead of schedule. For me, I'm going to continue to take it one day at a time and do my best to get ready."
Like Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who suffered a similar injury at almost the same exact time, the minutiae of spring recovery is meaningless. The fact that Mariota is not jogging full-steam right now will mean nothing if he shows up to training camp with his ability to navigate the pocket complete intact.
For younger players suffering one of their first severe injuries, ignoring the rehab checkpoints can be difficult. Especially for someone like Mariota, who is vital to the success of Tennessee's next-gen offense, which relies partially on the fear caused by Mariota's legs.
"Yeah I was very excited," Mariota said. "It's gonna be fun to be able to play with those guys. They gotta come in and work right away. But I think we have a good core group of veteran guys to help these guys out, and hopefully they'll make an impact for us."
Anything that lightens the load of a franchise quarterback in recovery is a good thing.