Nashville, TN, United States (4E Sports) – The surging Tennessee Titans have suffered a huge setback with quarterback Jake Locker expected to miss at least 4-6 weeks or more due to an injured hip.
Locker sustained the injury in the third quarter of Sunday’s 38-13 win over the New York Jets when defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples hit him as he threw a pass.
Currently, the Titans share the AFC South lead with the Indianapolis Colts with identical 3-1 records.
During his weekly press conference, coach Mike Munchak said the injury is not season ending and initial tests on the hip were encouraging.
However, Munchak said there is still enough swelling in the hip that Locker will need another MRI Tuesday to determine the full extent of the injury and a timetable for return. Initial tests at LP Field didn’t indicate the hip had popped out of joint.
Locker was admitted to Saint Thomas Medical Center on Sunday afternoon, released Monday morning and returned to the team facility for more treatment. The quarterback also suffered a minor knee injury, Munchak said.
Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who finished Sunday’s game, will take over for Locker. Rusty Smith, currently on the practice squad, could be promoted to the 53-man roster by week’s end.
Munchak said the Titans have the option of placing Locker on Injured Reserve-Recall, which would free up a roster spot, but they prefer to keep him on the 53-man roster.
Players on IR-Recall cannot be activated until after eight weeks, and are prohibited from practicing for six of the eight weeks.
Locker, who missed five games last season because of a shoulder injury that required offseason surgery, was 18-of-24 passing for 149 yards and three touchdowns against the Jets.
In the first four games, Locker is 69-of-111 for 721 yards, six touchdown and no interceptions.