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Locker getting closer to return

There is a bit of good news for the Tennessee Titans following a dismal loss Sunday to the Chicago Bears.

According to a source, quarterback Jake Locker is nearing a return to health with his injured left (non-throwing) shoulder and could be able to play again fairly soon.

Locker, who has been out since Week 4 in Houston, is nearly healed from the fractured bone in his shoulder that came about once the shoulder was dislocated for the second time this year.

That said, the Titans are awaiting the results of an MRI today to determine if Locker might be cleared to play this week against the Miami Dolphins, or if he needs to wait until after the bye week and return Nov. 25 at Jacksonville.

Titans coach Mike Munchak later confirmed that the team is waiting to see if Locker could potentially be cleared for contact this week in practice with some possibility of playing against the Dolphins.

"If we got to Wednesday and thought he was able to take the next step and start taking team reps, then it would be more of how he did with that physically and mentally and getting ready for a game again," Munchak said. "And if we felt he was there, the final step would be, 'Hey, let's let him play.' ... If he's ready to go, then why wait."

As evidence by Sunday’s 51-20 shellacking from the Bears, the Titans are in need of some sort of spark to save the dying embers of the 2012 season. And Locker needs the experience going forward.

Surgery to fully correct the shoulder problem remains a possibility for Locker in the off-season.

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