Marcus Mariota played five snaps for the Titans after they benched him as their starting quarterback in Week 6 of the 2019 season, so it had been a long time since he saw real game action before Thursday night.
The Raiders turned to Mariota after Derek Carr was knocked out of the game with a groin injury late in the first quarter and Mariota ran the offense the rest of the way. He went 17-of-28 for 226 yards, a touchdown, and an interception and also ran for 88 yards and a touchdown in a 30-27 overtime loss to the Chargers.
After the game, Mariota reflected on the twists his career has taken and shared his happiness about getting back on the field.
“You know to be truthful, it’s been a long journey,” Mariota said, via NBCSportsNorthwest.com. “I’ve been through kind of everything, from injuries to surgeries, to mental lapses, and the confidence thing. I just really appreciate the Raiders and the entire organization for kind of helping me through that. I was trying to kind of find my way again and they gave me an opportunity to take some time, were patient with me and I just appreciate the fact that they were willing to do that. Again, it’s just kind of part of being an athlete. You’re going to go some ups and downs, and I think the staff did a great job of kind of keeping me level-headed and kind of fighting through it. When it comes down to it, it’s still ball. I just love being out there again. It was fun to play. Unfortunately, we just didn’t make enough plays.”
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said after the game that Carr’s injury is “significant,” so Mariota may not be done getting a chance to show what he can still do on the field.