|Titan QB Jake Locker spent several minutes on the ground Sunday after taking a vicious hit from Texans S Glover Quin. Locker's status vs. the Vikings is unknown . (AP)|
A vicious hit by Houston Texans' safety Glover Quin on Sunday caused Jake Locker's left shoulder to pop out of its socket and left the Tennessee Titans' starting quarterback writhing on the ground in pain.
While Titans coach Mike Munchak said on Monday that the injury is more severe than a similar one Locker suffered in week 1, Munchak did not indicated if the second-year quarterback will miss this Sunday's game at Minnesota. A decision could come as early as Tuesday, Munchak added.
Locker walked off the field at Reliant Stadium on his volition and then had his shoulder popped back into place by team doctors. Locker dislocated his left, non-throwing shoulder in the season-opener vs. the Patriots while attempting a fourth-quarter tackle on Patriots' safety Patrick Chung. After being limited in practice the following Wednesday, Locker recovered in time to start at San Diego in week 2.
“The last time he surprised a lot of us with how good he felt within 48 to 72 hours,” Munchak said. “I hope he's that way so we can make the decision what's best for him and the team.”
On a 3rd-and-12 from the Titans own 12 midway through the first quarter, Quin unloaded on Locker on a safety blitz off the left edge. Munchak said the play called for a three-step drop where Locker needed to get rid of the ball quickly. Tight end Jared Cook, who lined up on Quin's side of the formation, appeared to be Locker's hot route and couldn't be used to block.
“They were bringing six, you have five -- someone's going to be free,” Munchak said. “The guy who's closest to the play was blocked, the guy who's furthest from the play you try to leave free -- that's the guy who hit him.”
With Locker out, Matt Hasselbeck went 17 of 25 for 193 yards and two interceptions. Both interceptions were returned for touchdowns. Hasselbeck threw behind tight end Taylor Thompson on a third-quarter interception that was returned for a touchdown by Danieal Manning. The ball caromed off Thompson's hand before it was collected by the Texans' safety. In the fourth quarter, Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson beat wide receiver Damian Williams to the spot on a slant and returned an interception for a 63-yard touchdown.
“I think when you don't get the plays it doesn't matter if you're a veteran or not,” Munchak said. “I think the last couple weeks of not getting a chance to play in real game speed, it's hard to come in there.”
Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey knows how tough Locker can be, dating back from their days of facing each other in the Pac-12.
“It didn't matter how many times you hit him or pounded him he was always in there fighting back,” Casey said.
Season-best performance for CJ: Running back Chris Johnson had four runs of 12 yards or more for a total of 59 yards in the defeat. Johnson entered the game with just 45 yards on 33 carries through three games.
In total, Johnson rushed for 141 yards on 25 carries. Of Johnson's 141 yards, 140 came on runs from inside the tackles, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Johnson had averaged just 1.3 yards on runs before contact before Sunday's game, but rushed for 4.65 yards per carry on runs before contact inside the tackles against the Texans ESPN Stats & Info found.
“The amount of yards he got was different but as far as the plays and the formations, the things we've done before were similar,” Munchak said. “That's the type of defense we thought where the runs would come. I was happy for CJ that he had some success and for the line to have some success.”
Injury update: Munchak hopes WR Kenny Britt can return vs. the Vikings after missing the game with a sprained ankle.
“We didn't feel comfortable with where he was on Saturday, we were trying to run him a little bit,” Munchak said. “We knew if we had him cut and all those things that wouldn't have been fair to him or the team.”
Munchak is optimistic that LB Colin McCarthy (ankle) can return to team drills on Wednesday. Cook didn't suffer any setbacks with his shoulder injury. Cook was rested in the latter stage of the loss for precautionary reasons.
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