Titans QB Locker likely to return

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 07, 2012
Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak said quarterback Jake Locker will start against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday barring any setbacks. Locker worked with the starters on Wednesday, and Munchak said the Titans will see how he responds to practicing with the first-team offense. Matt Hasselbeck also took snaps during Wednesday's practice. ''If we think he's ready to go, he'll play,'' Munchak said after practice. ''I mean we'll see how he feels after today and how he does tomorrow in third-down stuff and just get a feel for just kind of the whole dynamic there. And then if he's ready, we'll give him a chance to start.'' Locker has missed five straight games after injuring his left, non-throwing shoulder Sept. 30 against Houston. The second-year quarterback returned to practice Oct. 17 on a limited basis and built up to working with the scout team. Munchak said Locker will have to be honest with coaches on how he feels if the quarterback feels limited in any way. The Titans (3-6) have their bye after Sunday's game with Miami (4-4), but the coach sees no reason to wait with doctors saying Locker has healed as much as possible right now. ''We all know there's going to be rust on a guy. If he waits two more weeks, he's going to be even rustier,'' Munchak said. ''The advantage of waiting, there's really not an advantage to wait till after the bye because it would be a longer period of time since he's actually played in a game. Physically, we've been told he's fine to play.'' Locker started the first four games, completing 63.2 percent of his passes in going 67 of 106 for 781 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked three times, the last Sept. 30 by Glover Quinn in the first quarter of a 38-14 loss in Houston. That hurt Locker's shoulder for the second time in four games, sidelining him so that he didn't even dress the past five games. Locker said he feels good with Munchak allowing him to work his way back over the past couple weeks, though he knows some things can't be simulated in practice. ''Physically I was able to keep myself in shape, and I was able to throw for most of it,'' Locker said. ''Just kind of making sure that you're in the mental grind of it, but, you know, I tried to do that as well as I could too. I prepared as if I was playing and tried to help Matt anyway I could. Those were things I tried not to get lackadaisical on so I didn't have to adjust to that. Hasselbeck is 0-2 in his career against the Dolphins, while Locker has never played Miami. The Titans currently rank 18th in the NFL in passing, averaging 228.6 yards per game. They rank just 26th in passing yards per play at 6.2 yards. Receiver Nate Washington said Hasselbeck did a good job filling in at quarterback and compared a change to bringing in the relief pitcher. ''We'll try to make sure everybody's doing their part, doing their job,'' Washington said. Having lost two straight and with owner Bud Adams evaluating everyone over the final seven games, the Titans desperately need a win Sunday. Munchak said the change might help provide a bit of a spark. ''If we feel he's healthy and he can help us win this game, we're going to go with it,'' Munchak said. The challenge is for Locker to avoid being injured again. Munchak said the smartest thing they can tell Locker is not to tackle anybody and let go of his aggressiveness. Locker originally hurt his shoulder in the season opener tackling a defender after an interception on a play later ruled an incompletion. ''He needs to avoid those kinds of things and taking useless hits and he'll be smarter getting rid of the ball quicker and moving around, and we have to be smarter with what we do with protections. We do that generally, so I think he'll be fine.'' Locker's mobility will be key against the Dolphins, especially with Cameron Wake and his 8.5 sacks. Miami coach Joe Philbin said they would prepare for both quarterbacks. ''Whoever's going to line up there both guys are good quarterbacks so we'll have to prepare for both of them,'' Philbin said. Notes: LB Colin McCarthy did not practice Wednesday, and Munchak said they didn't want to aggravate his right ankle practicing indoors. The coach said the linebacker may not practice in weeks until Friday or Saturday since he'll be dealing with the injury the rest of this season.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Report: David Lee signs with the Spurs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Craig Sager to miss Olympics while undergoing bone marrow transplant

Jarryd Hayne wouldn’t have retired if NFL had minor league system

Draymond Green: ‘Me and LeBron are friends’

Pierre-Paul won't need to wear club on hand this season

Report: Four cities remain in contention to host 2017 NBA ASG

Doc Rivers: Clippers have plan to let Paul Pierce retire as a Celtic

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

Cam Talbot thinks the Oilers are close to making the playoffs

The new era of WWE SmackDown has liftoff

Vlade Divac: Cousins ‘most dominant player in the world’

Wild offer to make Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy' new goal song

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker