Matt Hasselbeck has won two straight games as the Tennessee Titans starting quarterback and head coach Mike Munchak said he expects Hasselbeck to start again on Sunday against Indianapolis as the Titans look to even their record at 4-4 and get back in the AFC playoff race.
Munchak has said all along that Locker, who won the job out of camp but injured his non-throwing shoulder in Week 4, will remain the starter. Nonetheless, Munchak increasingly finds himself in a dilemma as Hasselbeck, 37, last seasons starter, as the team starts to play better.
Munchak said that the teams coaching staff would have a meeting later in the day to consult with doctors as to Lockers health. Locker has begun to throw, but Munchak said one prerequisite is that he wants Locker, the teams first round pick in 2011, to throw in traffic in practice before announcing him as the starter.
Munchak was reluctant to speculate as to whether Hasselbeck would retain the job if Locker remained out for a prolonged period.
When hes ready to play, like Ive said, hell be the guy playing, Munchak said of Locker.
Hasselbeck led the Titans to a 26-23 come-from-behind, fourth-quarter victory over Pittsburgh on Oct. 11 and then Sundays 35-34 win at Buffalo, the teams first this season on the road. Hasselbeck completed a 15-yard pass to Nate Washington on fourth down in the final minutes of the game for the win. Hasselbeck completed 22 of 33 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions for a 93.6 rating.
Munchak said that Locker seems to be making good progress but seemed to soften his stance in the slightest degree about Hasselbeck possibly continuing as the teams starter.
Yeah, obviously, the quicker a guy comes back, you dont even have to consider how it affects the team, Munchak said. You always factor in all the factors, youd be crazy not to I dont want to speculate how long hes out.
He added: Generally speaking, Jake comes back, hell be the guy playing. Youre not going to go there. He should be the starter. Theres no reason for him not to be.
Note: Quotes for this story were obtained by watching the live stream of Munchaks press conference on the Titans Web site.