After Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker was carted off the field on Sunday with a hip injury, many feared he would be out for the rest of the 2013 season. Locker has now had an MRI and reports suggest he will be out for a minimum of four to six weeks.
Locker was released from the hospital on Monday following an overnight stay, and the Titans are considering placing him on injured reserve with designation to return. Reports claim “the damage isn’t as bad as initially feared” and that surgery won’t be needed. The 25-year-old will undergo another MRI on Tuesday to determine the full extent of the damage.
The third-year pro was injured during the third quarter of Tennessee’s 38-13 win over the New York Jets, when defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples hit him as he threw a pass. He also suffered a minor knee injury on the play.
Locker was having a nice game against the Jets before he went down. He had completed 18-of-24 passes for 149 yards and three touchdowns. Through four games this season, Locker has completed 69-of-111 throws (62.2 percent), for 721 yards, with six touchdowns and no interceptions. He currently carries a quarterback rating of 99.0.
Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will take over quarterbacking duties for the Titans with Locker out.
At this point it would be foolish to expect Locker back any time before November. That said, the Titans have to consider themselves lucky he won’t be out for longer. Fitzpatrick is a nice backup but he has nowhere near Locker’s upside and if head coach Mike Munchak thinks his team has a chance at the postseason he’ll need his starter back.
The Titans are off to a 3-1 start, and while the pass offense currently ranks 29th in the NFL (193.0 yards per game), Locker has done a solid job under center this season. The team’s only loss came in a crazy 30-24 overtime loss to the Houston Texans in Week 2. Other than that, the Titans have been superb.