Hawaii’s Marcus Mariota of the Tennessee Titans, says he’s been on the mend three months after suffering a fractured right tibula during game play.
In his first on-camera interview since the injury with KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello, Mariota says “this process has been really good, and I’m in a good spot.”
The star quarterback, who had his second season in the National Football League come to an abrupt ending on Christmas Eve in a game against Jacksonville, is back home in Hawaii and spoke with DeMello at the Oahu Country Club in Nuuanu Monday morning.
“There are different things both on and off the field that I can learn from (the injury),” Mariota said, “and it’s given me an opportunity to realize how special the game really is, and how special my opportunity really is to play, and every time I step on the field to just enjoy it because you don’t really know when the last one could come up.”
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Mariota has shed the cast and walking boot that he was forced to wear for the better part of the last three months.
Since having surgery, the Saint Louis graduate has spent most of his time rehabbing at his collegiate alma mater at the University of Oregon, spending most of his free time with his brother Matt, a sophomore linebacker with the Ducks.
So far, Mariota has completed 276-of-451 passes for 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns, nine interceptions and had a 95.6 passer in 2016. He added 60 rushing attempts for 349 yards and two touchdowns prior to his season-ending injury.
Titans head coach Mike Mularkey has made it very clear in his remarks to the media over the last couple of months that the organization will be very careful on how and when Mariota returns to the field, with most projections of his being in training camp to be in late July.
Mariota says that given the support that he’s been provided with through the rehab, he is confident that once camp breaks, he will be taking snaps with the Titans.
“As long as I continue on this path, I’ll be ready to go once fall comes around.”
Mariota, through his Motiv8 Foundation, hosted a charity golf tournament Monday afternoon. Prior to his tee time, First Hawaiian Bank Chairman and CEO Bob Harrison presented a $115,000 check to Mariota.
The generous donation is the result of proceeds from sales of the collector’s edition Marcus Mariota Bobblehead.
“The inspiration behind the foundation was really from my parents,” Mariota said. “They motivated me to become the best person I could be, whether it was on or off the field, and with this foundation, we want to kind of take that and use Motiv8 as a steady force for youth and to provide them what my parents provided me.”