Former NFL team doctor and now sports medical analyst David Chao doesn't believe Marcus Mariota's elbow is as "close" to a return to normal as the QB says. "The ulnar nerve injury affects the ability to strongly grip the football and flex (actively bend) the wrist for follow-through," Chao writes. "This injury thereby affects accuracy – especially when pushing the ball down field – and makes it difficult to throw tight spirals." He adds that "the physiology of nerve recovery is that it either returns quickly or it lingers." This doesn't mean that Mariota can't play. If it did, the Titans obviously wouldn't have him on the active roster. But it does mean we probably shouldn't expect Mariota to start in Week 3, and his throws might be impacted into October. We'll keep watching the situation, but Mariota's current status makes him droppable in some fantasy leagues.

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The Titans have promoted TEs coach Arthur Smith to OC. Smith has been with Tennessee for 8 years, starting as a defensive assistant before moving to the other side of the ball. The Titans are aiming for continuity from the departed Matt LaFleur's scheme, but Smith is a complete unknown as a play-caller.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota (stinger) is inactive for tonight’s game against the Colts. Blaine Gabbert gets the start in a win-or-go-home situation. What a world.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota (stinger) is not expected to play against the Colts tonight, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports. Mariota is listed as questionable and is expected to work out pregame before a final decision is made. But an independent spine specialist has reportedly warned the Titans that further damage to Mariota's nerve could impact his ability to throw long term. So it looks like it'll be Blaine Gabbert under center for tonight's must-win game. Expect a whole bunch of RB Derrick Henry when Tennessee has the ball.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota (stinger) is listed as questionable for Sunday night’s game against the Colts. He put in limited practices on Thursday and Friday and will likely be a game-time decision. If Mariota is unable to go, it’ll be Blaine Gabbert under center. Avoid this situation in Week 17 fantasy lineups.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota (elbow) returned to practice on Thursday. HC Mike Vrabel said afterward that Mariota was limited but called his day "encouraging." It looks like he has a shot to play in Sunday night's win-or-go-home game against the Colts. We'll get another update tomorrow.

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