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Mike Mularkey says Marcus Mariota ‘right on schedule’ with rehab

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Mularkey on Wednesday indicated Marcus Mariota is “on schedule” in his rehab after suffering a broken fibula late last season. But Mularkey stressed the Titans will be “overly cautious” not to push their franchise quarterback too hard.

It’s expected that Mariota will miss most of the Titans’ offseason program as he rehabilitates from the injury suffered during the third quarter of a Week 16 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. While no date has been explicitly set for an expected full recovery, Mularkey appeared encouraged by the progress Mariota is making.

“We texted back and forth last night. He’s on schedule,” Mularkey said Wednesday on The Midday 180 show on Nashville’s WGFX-FM – 104-5 The Zone. “I saw some video of him in a pool, one of the treadmills that are now designed to keep the weight off but you can still walk. That was good to see, him walking on that treadmill. He’s right on schedule.”

After a rookie season in 2015 which Mariota showed potential, his sophomore NFL season established him as one of the top young quarterbacks in the league. In 15 games, Mariota completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 3,426 yards with 26 touchdowns to only nine interceptions.

Mariota also continued to be a threat to tuck the ball and run — while not showing a panicked over-reliance on his legs — rushing for 349 yards and two touchdowns.

The Titans remained in the hunt for the AFC South title the entire season thanks in large part to Mariota’s play and finished the season with a 9-7 record after going 3-13 in his rookie year. That explains why Mularkey indicated the Titans aren’t going to take any chances with his recovery.

“I think we’re going to be really smart about how we handle him and probably be overly cautious,” he said.