Starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck made it through part of Thursday's practice, and if the veteran continues to progress as the Tennessee Titans hope, he could be under center Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
“The injury is running its course, so that means we think he's going to be able to play on Sunday,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said.
Hasselbeck did not practice Wednesday, but the Titans hope to increase his workload on Friday in hopes that he will be able to make the start.
“It all depends on how he feels under center and backing up and all those things. We'll probably get a better feel for that tomorrow,” Munchak said. “We're assuming he's going to start right now.”
Hasselbeck said he did more than he expected to do on Thursday, taking a limited part in team drills early on, though rookie Jake Locker took the bulk of the first-team reps, a day after being limited himself with sore ribs.
“It feels pretty good. I don't know percentage-wise, but we set out a schedule after we got my scan on Monday, to not do anything Wednesday, and not do anything Thursday or do some individual,” Hasselbeck said. “I did a lot more than I expected today. We'll just see how it is tomorrow, and if I can help us for Sunday, great.”
Hasselbeck suffered the injury in the second quarter of Sunday's 22-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
If he cannot go, Locker, the Titans' first-round pick, would make his first NFL start.
He has played in four games thus far, and had perhaps his best work Sunday in relief, hitting 13 of 29 for 282 yards and a TD.
“I'm taking the same approach that I've taken every week of the year,” Locker said. “I try and prepare every week as if I get an opportunity to play and go and make the most of it when you do.”
Munchak said that Hasselbeck will need to continue to progress and not suffer a setback. But of those things happen, he expects him to make his scheduled start Sunday.
“I think we're assuming it's Matt unless something doesn't go according to plan. And if it's not, I think we will know something before Sunday,” Munchak said. “We feel comfortable that we won't have to work the guy out on Sunday morning to see if he's playing."