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Jake Locker practices; Tennessee Titans won't rush QB's return

  • By Associated Press
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jake Locker practiced for the first time since dislocating his left, non-throwing shoulder, and coach Mike Munchak said the Tennessee Titans' quarterback is on target to return when the team hosts the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 28.

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Locker loosened up Wednesday by throwing a few short balls before working in individual drills. He also threw during 7-on-7 drills for the defense in his first practice since he dislocatied his left shoulder Sept. 30 against the Houston Texans for the second time in four games.

Munchak said Locker did what the team hoped he'd be able to do, and the coach watched the second-year pro in individual drills.

"It was what we hoped he'd be able to handle," Munchak said. "Now it's just to see how sore he got and keep progressing and giving him more to do. He's a guy you have to hold back. He wants to be out there. In his mind, he'd be able to play tomorrow if he had to play. We'll see how sore he got from what he did today and keep adding more to his routine."

The Titans (2-4) will start veteran Matt Hasselbeck on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills (3-3), with Locker returning to the starting lineup against the Colts if there are no setbacks. Even if Hasselbeck leads the Titans to a second consecutive win, Munchak said he'll have no problem returning the offense to Locker, who started the first four games.

"We feel comfortable because the receivers, everyone he's so familiar with the offense that if he's ready to play next week that there wouldn't be any doubt he'd be the guy playing," Munchak said.


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Hasselbeck has completed 60.2 percent of his passes for 726 yards and four touchdowns with four interceptions. He also has been sacked eight times. Locker has thrown for 781 yards and four TDs with just two interceptions, and he has been sacked three times.

A good sign for the Titans is that receiver Kenny Britt wasn't on Wednesday's injury report. But Colin McCarthy didn't practice and wore a walking boot that Munchak said was only to protect the linebacker's right ankle. McCarthy played every defensive snap in last week's 26-23 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Munchak said the team hopes the linebacker will practice Friday.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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