|Titans QB Jake Locker won't play Sunday against the Vikings. Locker dislocated his left shoulder last week vs. the Texans. (US Presswire)|
Locker's left shoulder popped out of its joint for the second time this season after a vicious hit by Texans' safety Glover Quin. As Quin drove the second-year quarterback into the turf at Reliant Stadium, the pain on Locker's face was palpable. Hasselbeck has experienced a similar injury to his non-throwing shoulder three times during his 14-year career.
On Wednesday, the Titans ruled Locker out for Sunday's game at Minnesota. Hasselbeck will start for the first time since relinquishing the Titans' starting quarterback position to Locker in the preseason.
“It's unfortunate, I certainly feel bad for Jake,” Hasselbeck said. “I've been there, it's no fun -- nothing's fun, sleeping's not fun. There's some injuries you don't wish on anyone. You have sympathy, it's like when you have a bad flu and two weeks later someone else has it. If they get it first and you don't have it, you don't have the same amount of sympathy.”
Locker indicated on Wednesday that he feels less comfortable than he did in Week 2 when he recovered within 72 hours of experiencing the injury. Locker is unsure if his shoulder will heal quickly enough for him to be ready for a nationally televised Thursday night game vs. the Steelers on Oct. 11.
“I want to be out there (against Minnesota), but I think our doctors always have our best interest in their minds and that's what they're making the decision on,” Locker said.
Locker is also unsure if the injury will require surgery at season's end. For now, he's focused on returning to the field.
“There's always the threat of an injury,” Locker said. “It's something you can't worry about and if you do, it seems like that's when you find yourself getting hurt. When I get the opportunity to go back, it's going to be without any reserve, and I'm going to feel 100 percent confident in what I can do.”
Hasselbeck first separated his left shoulder in a 2001 win vs. the Raiders. The former Seahawks quarterback received an injection of a painkiller and played the next six weeks, according to the Seattle Times. Hasselbeck re-injured his shoulder in late December against the Giants and missed the final two weeks of the season.
In January of 2004, Hasselbeck dislocated the shoulder again vs. the Packers in an NFC wild card game. He remained in the game and led the Seahawks on three second-half touchdown drives to force overtime. After famously announcing “we want the ball and we're going to score,” during the pre-overtime coin toss, Hasselbeck was intercepted by former Packers DB Al Harris with 4:25 left in overtime. Harris returned the interception 52-yards for the game-winning touchdown.
Hasselbeck waited until the end of the 2006 season to undergo surgery on the torn left labrum. He returned in time for the 2007 season opener.
“I have a lot of respect for the injury,” Hasselbeck said. “Doctors tell you they can fix anything, so they talked me into it. It was kind of similar to this; (Locker) is tougher than I am.”
Defensive struggles: Despite the addition of DE Kamerion Wimbley, the Titans still rank 30th in the league in sacks per pass attempt (4.11 percent), according to NFLGSIS.com. The Titans have just six sacks through four games.
Titans' opponents have rarely needed to use a one-dimensional passing attack to mount a comeback against Tennessee this season. The lone exception occurred in Week 3 against Detroit. As a result, the Titans have had few opportunities to rush the quarterback.
Vikings' second-year quarterback Christian Ponder is expected to make just his 15th career start.
“We're never going to be content, if we had 10 or 12 (sacks) right now, I'd say the same thing,” coach Mike Munchak said. “We're just going to hope that this weekend we get ahead, and we make them throw the football with a young quarterback.”
Injury update: Linebacker Colin McCarthy participated in team drills for the first time since suffering an ankle sprain against the Patriots in Week 1. McCarthy serves as the quarterback of the defense at middle linebacker.
“It was good to get back out there with the guys,” McCarthy said. “I think today with me being out there guys felt more comfortable. They were happy to have me back.”
McCarthy participated on a limited basis, according to the Titans' injury report. TE Jared Cook (shoulder) was also limited in Wednesday's practice. WR Kenny Britt (ankle), DE Scott Solomon (hamstring), LB Patrick Bailey (hand) and RG Leroy Harris (not injury related) did not practice.
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