Matt Hasselbeck is still the Tennessee Titans quarterback – for now.
Coach Mike Munchak said Monday that Hasselbeck, who has made three straight starts in place of an injured Jake Locker, is likely to be under center Sunday when the Indianapolis Colts come to town.
But when Locker is ready, the job will belong to him once again after he won the starting role in training camp.
“I would assume it's going to be Matt,” Munchak said. “Just because of the activity last week, we didn't do a lot of things (with Jake). Once we talk to the doctors and get a chance to talk to Jake and get a chance to see how his exam went, we'll see how much further we can take it starting tomorrow and Wednesday. Then we'll know more and see where he is at.
“You want to make sure it's healing right before you start getting bumped and pushed around and you want to make sure things are healing correctly before you jump to the next step. So I think we have to be cautious there. He's throwing. He hasn't thrown in traffic. We've just got to take it one step at a time, and that's what we're doing. If everything looks good, he could be throwing in traffic on Wednesday and practice. We'll just have to wait and see.”
Hasselbeck guided the Titans to a 35-34 comeback win in Buffalo that gave Tennessee its first two-game winning streak of the season.
Munchak said Locker is progressing well, but said that in a worst-case scenario, he could still miss a few more weeks. It is all a matter of how quickly his left shoulder heals up.
“In guessing what time and what week it will be, we just don't know that right now,” Munchak said. “If you want to look at a worst-case scenario, (missing multiple weeks) is possible. … But we're assuming he's doing well and for Jake everything is moving along the way it should, and he should be able to play hopefully sooner rather than later.”
Locker said his injured shoulder is improving.
“For the most part, everyday stuff doesn't bother me anymore,” Locker said. “Last week I was able to do some stuff in practice and I was feeling good.”
Locker said he doesn't want to have to worry about the injury once he finally does return to action.
When I come back I'm not going to play with hesitation. When you play this game that way, that's when you hurt yourself,” Locker said. “I've got to go out and when I do get the opportunity to play again, play without hesitation and without concern.”
In addition to Locker, the Titans suffered a rash of injuries on Sunday, including one they didn't expect that happened on Monday morning.
Left tackle Michael Roos underwent an appendectomy on Monday morning and could miss some time. Roos was sore after Sunday's game and was checked out afterward. But he continued to have pain Monday morning when the appendicitis diagnosis was made.
The news isn't good for linebacker Zac Diles either, as he suffered a broken right leg and will be out for the remainder of the season. The Titans will audition linebackers on Tuesday with signing one a priority to help out on special teams. Linebacker Patrick Bailey is also likely out this week with a broken rib, while linebacker Will Witherspoon was slowed by a hamstring injury.
The good news is that Colin McCarthy should be able to play this week after sitting out in Buffalo to rest his troublesome ankle.