The signs were pointing toward quarterback Jake Locker returning to the starting lineup all week and coach Mike Munchak made it official on Friday.
Locker will start against the Dolphins on Sunday after missing the last five games with a dislocated left (non-throwing) shoulder. It’s the second time Locker suffered the injury this season, which caused the Titans to take a more cautious approach to his return than they did after his initial injury in the first game of the season.
Locker will wear a harness to help protect the injured shoulder, but Munchak said there won’t be any restrictions placed on Locker’s play. After a week of practice with no setbacks, Munchak said that the Titans will be turning him loose.
“How he plays, there is no control over that,” Munchak said, via Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “He is just going to react and go play. He has done a good job sliding and getting down — he has a knack for that. He just needs to avoid … taking the useless hits. And be smart about it — get rid of the ball quicker and those kinds of things. And we have to be smart with the protection.”
Locker has completed 63.2 percent of his passes this season for 781 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. With owner Bud Adams putting the entire team on notice (and on the couch, psychologically speaking) this week, Locker’s play in the second half will have a lot to do with the futures of Munchak, General Manager Ruston Webster and many of the players on the roster.