Hamstring strain keeps Mariota’s status uncertain

The Tennessee Titans’ Marcus Mariota throws a pass during practice Wednesday. • AP photo

The Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Titans coach Mike Mularkey said Wednesday that quarterback Marcus Mariota’s status remains unclear for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.
Mariota, who strained a hamstring in last week’s loss to the Houston, Texans, was limited in practice, stretching and throwing passes during the open portion of workouts Wednesday. He did not speak with the media after practice.
“We didn’t ask him to do very much. We were smart with him,” Mularkey said. “We did what we thought he could do, and that wasn’t very much, but enough. We’re going to be smart with him; positive for what he had to do.”
Mularkey said he would be comfortable playing Mariota on Sunday even without the 23-year-old from Honolulu having a full practice.
Second-stringer Matt Cassel took all the repetitions Wednesday, and the veteran said that helps mentally anytime for a backup with the possibility of playing.
“It’s my job week in to week out to be prepared, be accountable, but the mental reps is one thing and also going into a game you never know when your opportunity’s going to come up,” Cassel said. “It’s always a surprise when it does.”
The Titans signed Brandon Weeden to a one-year deal Tuesday as a third quarterback.
Mularkey said Tennessee’s offense won’t differ much if Cassel plays. Mariota, however is a mobile quarterback — he ran for two touchdowns last week, and had 349 rushing yards last season.
Dolphins coach Adam Gase said the Titans’ uncertainty at quarterback makes for a tough assignment for Miami’s defensive staff.
“You watch Marcus play, and there are not many guys that play that position and run for a 40-yard touchdown and run away from everybody,” Gase said. “He causes a lot of problems and puts a lot of options on the table for them.”