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Munchak: Locker has Chance to Play at San Diego

Posted Sep 10, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans coach Mike Munchak said Monday that the team feels “pretty good” about Jake Locker’s chances of recovering from a shoulder injury the day before and playing Sunday at San Diego.

“That’s something — the shoulder — that after a day or two can get better real quick,” Munchak said. “After a game, you’re always going to be sorer with any injury than you were yesterday. But we see that as something getting better quickly. Hopefully, Wednesday he’ll be able to do things. It’s hard to tell until he gets out there and starts getting active. We just feel good about the chance of him playing this week.”

Locker injured his shoulder early in the fourth quarter while tackling Patrick Chung in Sunday’s season-opening loss to the Patriots. Chung attempted to return what was initially ruled a fumble by Nate Washington and later determined an incomplete pass. He made it 49 yards until Locker slung him to the ground. Washington also suffered a leg contusion on the play as he tried to make the catch.

“I think he’s OK,” Munchak said of Washington. “He’s got a bruise on his leg from when he got hit there.”

Locker underwent an MRI Monday, and Munchak was awaiting results at the time of his press conference. Munchak said it’s likely that 14-year veteran Matt Hasselbeck will handle more snaps Wednesday when the Titans return to the practice field and continue evaluating how Locker responds.

Locker lobbied to return to the game — his first career start — against New England, but the Titans opted to rest him the remainder of the game.

The injury is to Locker’s left, non-throwing shoulder, but could have side effects on the second-year QB’s throwing motion or alter his mobility, which is another strong attribute of his game.

“I guess if it’s any kind of pain he’s in,” Munchak said. “If it’s sore, how sore it is and does it affect him setting up? Does it affect his follow-through? Does it affect his protecting himself when he runs? I think, in general, it’s like having anything. If it’s not that sore on him, he won’t even think about it during a game, but I think just so it’s not to where he feels Thursday and Friday and Saturday when practicing that it’s affecting him in some way.”

Munchak said the Titans will play Locker if they determine he can “do the things he needs to do to play the position.”

The Titans’ defense also took a hit when starting middle linebacker Colin McCarthy went down with ankle injury in the second quarter. McCarthy returned briefly but later swapped a cleat for a walking boot. He also underwent an MRI Monday, Munchak said, to further assess the severity.

“I think that’s what they’re working on,” Munchak said. “They’re figuring that out now, because of the swelling, what exactly he does have and how sore it is. Again, we should know more about that this afternoon. They just went over to see the doctors this morning, had the film, so we’ll get more on it this afternoon or tomorrow morning.”

RINGER REQUIRES ANTIBIOTICS: Reserve RB Javon Ringer received antibiotic treatments for an infection during a hospitalization. The infection caused swelling that intensified Friday and Saturday and caused Ringer to miss the opener.

Ringer’s status for this week was unknown.

“I haven’t talked to him personally since Saturday, so I’m not exactly sure how he’s feeling,” Munchak said. “We think he’s going to be fine. It’s just a matter of how the elbow is, how quickly we can get the swelling out of it.”

BRITT REJOINS TEAM: The Titans did receive a lift Monday when Kenny Britt returned to Baptist Sports Park after serving a one-week suspension by the NFL.

Britt is trying to return to action for the first time in nearly a year. He tore his ACL and MCL Sept. 25, 2011, against Denver and has had two surgeries on that knee and an arthroscopic procedure on his other knee in the offseason.

“He’s back (in the building) and he’ll start practicing officially with us on Wednesday,” Munchak said. “He worked out with us today, doing his rehab and he’ll do some work tomorrow, and then he’ll start with the team on Wednesday for practice, and we’ll just have to see how much he can handle and how he handles day-to-day and decide by the end of the week how much he can play on Sunday.”

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