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Jake Locker Encourages Titans with Return to Practice for Passing Drills

Posted Oct 16, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans quarterback Jake Locker returned to the practice field Wednesday for his first action with teammates since suffering hip and knee sprains on Sept. 29 in a win against the New York Jets.

Locker left the playing surface at LP Field via cart early in the third quarter that day and has progressed from using crutches on the sideline on Oct. 6 to not needing them Sunday when he watched Tennessee’s game at Seattle.

Jake Locker returned to practice with a brace but was able to participate in individual and 7-on-7 passing drills, as well as take a couple of snaps for the first time since suffering hip and knee sprains on Sept. 29 against the Jets.

On Wednesday, the third-year pro and second-year starter wore a large brace on his right leg and went through stretching exercises, individual drills, 7-on-7 passing drills and took a couple of snaps in 11-on-11 action.

Titans coach Mike Munchak and teammates said it was encouraging to see Locker able to do as much as he did, and Munchak said the team will evaluate how Locker responds physically to that much activity.  

“I thought it was a good start for him,” Munchak said. “We’ll see how sore he is, and we’ll watch the tape kind of watch him a little closer and see how he was moving around; there’s not a lot of stress out there doing things, but he threw the ball well.”

Munchak echoed his statement Monday that the Titans wouldn’t declare on Locker’s availability until later this week, but it’s quite possible that Ryan Fitzpatrick will make his third start in a Tennessee uniform when San Francisco visits at 3:05 p.m. Sunday.

“We’re going forward with Ryan, but we want to see how well, how fast along Jake (Locker) comes,” Munchak said.

Locker’s mobility and comfort level in the pocket will be part of the consideration, as well as the fact that this is the final game before Tennessee (3-3) has its bye week.

Receiver Nate Washington, who has 23 catches for 377 yards and two touchdowns, said it was “definitely gratifying” to see Locker do as much as he did Wednesday.

“He’s definitely a leader on this team so any time you can see him trotting around and throwing the passes he’s throwing or handing the ball off, is definitely a good sign for us,” Washington said.

There were initially multiple projections reported on how long the injury would sideline Locker, but Munchak said those did not come from the team. Munchak said the Titans are excited by the progress Locker has made.

“When he got hurt that day, we never thought we’d even be having this conversation this early after a couple weeks,” Munchak said. “We’re just excited about how well he’s recovered from the injury and how lucky he is to some degree on that.”

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