After missing the last five games and watching his team get obliterated at home against the Bears last week, Jake Locker is ready to return and has gotten the nod to start this Sunday when the Titans take on the Miami Dolphins. Locker dislocated his non-throwing shoulder against the Houston Texans five weeks ago, which was the second time this season he’d suffered that injury.
But Titans head coach Mike Munchak said while the Titans will be cautious on Sunday in terms of Locker’s play, they’re not putting any restrictions on what he can and can’t do.
“How he plays, there is no control over that,” Munchak said. “He is just going to react and go play. He has done a good job sliding and getting down — he has a knack for that. He just needs to avoid … taking the useless hits. And be smart about it — get rid of the ball quicker and those kinds of things. And we have to be smart with the protection.”
Locker will wear a harness that will help his shoulder from sustaining further injury, but there are no guarantees that Locker will either A) be back to his normal self, or B) not sustain another injury.
There is a lot riding on how Locker plays though. Owner Bud Adams basically told the entire team this week that he wishes they were someone else, putting everyone on staff and on roster on notice. It’s only Mike Munchak’s second year as a head coach, but if Locker struggles — or sustains a season ending injury, well let’s just say things won’t be looking up for Munchak, his staff or many of the players on this team right now.