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Locker, Washington, McCarthy hurt

The Tennessee Titans lost two players on a play that didn't even count in their 34-13 loss to the New England Patriots.

Both quarterback Jake Locker and receiver Nate Washington were hurt on a fourth-quarter play that was originally ruled a catch-and-fumble.

Washington was blasted on a hit by Jerod Mayo and was on the ground motionless for a moment, while Locker injured his left non-throwing shoulder tackling Patrick Chung, who had picked up the loose ball and ran with it.

The replay official then overturned the call, ruling it an incomplete pass, but the Titans had lost both players for the duration of the game.
Locker's shoulder, according to a source, was believed to be separated, though he could have returned to the game if necessary.

“I felt like I could go back in, and I let them know that,” Locker said. “The medical staff made the decision they did.”

Locker finished the game 23 of 32 for 229 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also lost a fumble on a sack.

Both Locker and Coach Mike Munchak expect him to start next week at San Diego.

“I will get some treatment on it and feel good about being able to play Sunday,” Locker said.

Added Munchak, “I'm hoping that the injury is not something that would keep him out. I know how competitive he is, so it's probably going to be hard to keep him out.”

Quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains said Locker lobbied hard to go back in after the injury. At that point, however, with the Titans' hopes fading, it didn't make sense to risk further injury.

“He's a great competitor, but in that situation, there was no way at that point in the game,” Loggains said.

Loggains said he told Locker not to make like a linebacker anymore on the play. It also hurt that the play was eventually ruled an incompletion, meaning the hit shouldn't have happened at all.

“It's extremely frustrating because he made a great throw on the ball, and he ends up getting hurt on a ball that's an incompletion,” Loggains said. “I hope Jake learned from that and that he won't play like a linebacker, but that's the great competitor that he is. The first thing I said to him was, 'Come on, we don't need this. We lost our starting quarterback because of this.'”

But Locker didn't apologize for the play on which he was injured.

“I thought it was football. … I know I play offense, but I'm not going to let a guy run into the end zone,” Locker said.

As for Washington, he was officially diagnosed with a “leg contusion,” according to the Titans, even though he appeared to take a shot to the head from Mayo on the play.

"I'll be all right. I'm about to go into the training room here and get looked at and make sure everything is all right, so I can get prepared for next week,” Washington said.

Asked if he suffered any sort of head injury, Washington said, "I don't know. Not necessarily. The training staff will assess that, and we'll go forward from there. I don't know anything about that."

The injury bug bit hard on the defensive side of the football as well, as linebacker Colin McCarthy left the game with an ankle injury and was in a walking boot.

McCarthy was succinct in his answers about the injury, but it did not look good initially.

“I just tweaked my ankle a little bit. I'll be all right. I'll be fine,” McCarthy said.
When asked if he would be able to play against the Chargers next week, he just said, “I'll be fine.”

McCarthy's absence was felt by the Titans defense.

“You're talking about the defensive quarterback, when you lose your middle linebacker, and a guy like Colin, who brings so much energy, when you lose him, it's gonna hurt,” cornerback Jason McCourty said.

The Titans also played without running back Javon Ringer, who was inactive because of swelling in his elbow.

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