Hasselbeck still starter for Titans
Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 7:01 pm
By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans do not have a quarterback controversy just yet, and coach Mike Munchak is doing his best to keep the situation under control by making it clear the starting job is Jake Locker’s when healthy.
When that will be still remains to be seen.
For now, Matt Hasselbeck should make his fourth straight start Sunday against Indianapolis, and the veteran’s play in leading Tennessee to fourth-quarter comebacks each of the past two games makes it easier for Locker to take his time healing up his shoulder.
Locker injured his left, non-throwing shoulder Sept. 30 for the second time in four games. He just started throwing in practice last week on a limited basis, and Munchak said they would discuss the quarterback’s status later Monday. The coach said again that Locker will start when he’s ready with the only holdback how quickly the quarterback can move through each stage of healing.
“He could progress very fast,” Munchak said of Locker.
“That’s all the information we really have other than that it’s just a lot of speculation of where he’s at and timing and guessing what week he’ll be (back). We just don’t know that. When he’s ready to play, like I said, he’ll be back playing.”
Hasselbeck threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington on fourth down with 1:03 left in rallying the Titans (3-4) to a 35-34 win at Buffalo. He also drove the Titans to 10 fourth-quarter points in beating Pittsburgh on Oct. 11. Locker praised the 14-year veteran’s performance as being “awesome.”
“I’m happy that we’re winning games, and I don’t think you can look at it any other way,” Locker said. “It’s my job to get myself healthy and myself back on the field as soon as I can.”
Locker said he had another round of tests on his shoulder Monday and hadn’t heard the results yet. What doctors are looking for on the MRI exams is a more healing around the shoulder where the bone dislocated twice.
“Once that happens, then the discussion about being able to come back becomes a little more serious,” Locker said.
The Titans have a chance to claw their way back to .500 if they can beat Andrew Luck and the Colts (3-3), their AFC South rivals. That would revive playoff hopes after a dreadful 1-4 start, especially in the AFC where all but two teams have at least three losses.
After Indianapolis, the Titans host Chicago and visit Miami before their bye week on Nov. 18.
Published in The Messenger 10.23.12