Jake Locker’s left shoulder is sore enough that the Tennessee Titans don’t even want the former University of Washington star dressing Sunday when they visit Minnesota, so Matt Hasselbeck will start at quarterback.
“It’s unfortunate anytime anybody gets hurt,” said Hasselbeck, who started 131 games for the Seattle Sea-hawks from 2001-2010. “I certainly feel bad for Jake and his injury. I’ve been there. I’ve had that injury. Nothing’s fun. Sleeping’s not fun. Nothing’s fun. I feel badly for him.
“At the same time … when somebody gets hurt, somebody needs to step up, and your teammates, the rest of the team’s counting on you to do your job.”
Whether Locker misses more than one game depends on how quickly his non-throwing shoulder heals.
“We’ll take it day by day and see how he responds with soreness, getting the strength back and – like I said the last time – when he’s ready to play, he’ll be playing,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said Wednesday after announcing the change at starter. “Right now, all we know is he won’t play this weekend.”
Locker dislocated his non-throwing shoulder for the second time in four games when he was sacked in Sunday’s 38-14 loss at Houston.
He first hurt his shoulder early in the fourth quarter of the season opener against New England.
Locker said this injury feels different, and he’s not as comfortable as he was a month ago.
“It’s just as fast as my body can respond to it,” Locker said about when he will return. “I’ll do my best to get back there as soon as I can, and as coach Munch (said), we’ll just take it week to week.”
The eighth pick overall in 2011, Locker earned the starting job in late August. He has completed 67 of 106 passes for 781 yards with four TDs and two interceptions, a 90.2 passer rating.
Hasselbeck has thrown for 236 yards with two TDs and two interceptions coming off the bench after he led Tennessee to a 9-7 record last season, when he threw for 3,571 yards.
“I’m glad we have a quarterback, like we’ve been saying all along, like Matt, that we feel we can obviously win with and have won with,” Munchak said. “He knows how big this game is to win. We’re lucky we have a quarterback that’s very capable of doing that for us.”
SUSPENDED COACHES, GM GET OK TO ATTEND
The NFL has granted permission for New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt to attend the team’s home game Sunday against San Diego, in which Drew Brees can break a tie with Johnny Unitas for the record for consecutive regular-season games with a touchdown pass.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Brees, who is tied with Unitas at 47, asked that Payton, Loomis and Vitt be allowed to attend even as they continue to serve suspensions of various lengths in connection with the NFL’s bounty investigation. Aiello said the three suspended members of the organization may watch the game from a private area and may not have contact with the team.
Unitas set the record from 1956 to 1960. Brees tied it Sunday at Green Bay, throwing for three scores.
Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes will miss the rest of this season with a Lisfranc injury in his left foot. The injury will require surgery. … Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams said he has been fined $15,000 by the NFL for a roughing-the-passer penalty when he hit the Patriots’ Tom Brady in the back of the leg. Williams said he will appeal. … The Chiefs put tight end Kevin Boss on injured reserve with a head injury after doctors said they would not clear him to play the rest of the season. … The Texans cut third-string quarterback John Beck and re-signed safety Troy Nolan. … The Patriots re-signed veteran linebacker Bobby Carpenter and released defensive lineman Terrell McClain.