Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans are bracing to be without Jake Locker for quite some time, but believe he will return at some point this season, head coach Mike Munchak said at a Monday press conference.
Munchak spoke with reporters regarding the status of the injured starting quarterback, who will definitely miss the Titans' upcoming contest and will undergo further tests before a definitive timetable is announced. Locker suffered a hip injury in the team's 38-13 victory over the New York Jets.
"He still has swelling so they don't want to speculate," said Munchak about how soon Locker could return under center. "He'll be MRI'd again tomorrow, and then we'll make a time frame."
Munchak also stated Locker suffered a minor knee injury when he was dropped by Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson moments after making a throw. Locker was carted off the field minutes later.
Nevertheless, the coach said all tests performed on Locker so far are encouraging, and does not believe the injury will force him to miss the remainder of the season.
"From what we've seen so far, we don't think he's lost for the season. We know that he's going to be back playing again this year, we just don't know when," Munchak stated.
Before getting injured, Locker was in the midst of his best game as a pro, completing 18-of-24 passes for 149 yards and three touchdowns to open a sizeable lead for the Titans, who improved to 3-1 on the season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick will become the team's starter for the foreseeable future. He filled in under center on Sunday and threw for a touchdown and 108 yards.
"He's been here and he's comfortable with what we're doing," said Munchak about Fitzpatrick. "He's here for this reason, to weather the storm and try to help us to a win on Sunday."
The nine-year veteran signed with Tennessee this past offseason after the Buffalo Bills released him following two turnover-prone seasons in which he combined for 39 interceptions and 10 fumbles.
"It's on his shoulders to be good with the football. He has to be smart with the football and his decision making," said Munchak. "Obviously he hasn't had a lot of reps with the first group, so it's important that we get him comfortable."
The Titans host the 4-0 Kansas City Chiefs this coming Sunday.