With Jake Locker still not healed after a Week Four injury to his non-throwing shoulder, Matt Hasselbeck will remain the starting quarterback in Tennessee.
Titans coach Mike Munchak confirmed at his press conference today that Locker will need at least another week to heal from the injury to his left shoulder, which includes both damage to the labrum and a fracture. Munchak did sound optimistic, however, that Locker will be cleared for contact soon.
“I wouldn’t say [Locker] is a long ways away,” Munchak said, via Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “He’ll visit the doctors this afternoon and tomorrow morning. Hopefully he’ll be able to do more. It’s more of a medical deal, that they’re going to allow him to do more things, allow him to get bumped around a little bit. As soon as they’re not worried about that concern any longer, that they feel like the healing is far enough along, then we’ll be able to get him back into playing in traffic, where he can get hit and pushed and fall to the ground.”
Hasselbeck will definitely start on Sunday against the Bears and is expected to start the following Sunday against the Dolphins. After that the Titans have their bye, which means the most likely date for Locker’s return appears to be Sunday, November 25 in Jacksonville.
Hasselbeck has played well in Locker’s absence, but the Titans don’t appear to be giving any thought to keeping Hasselbeck as the starter once Locker is healthy. The job will be Locker’s again eventually. The only question is how soon.