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Jake Locker has sprained hip, will miss 3 Titans games

Jake Locker has avoided serious injury.

The Tennessee Titans confirmed Tuesday that Locker has a sprained hip, an optimistic diagnosis that should allow a midseason return for the quarterback.

"We received reassuring reports from the second MRI today and they confirmed that there was no major damage to Jake Locker's hip joint -- it is classified as a sprained hip," a team statement said. "The area will need time to heal and strengthen, but he won't require surgery and he has already begun a rehab routine for both his hip and knee.

"We certainly would expect him to miss a few weeks, but we are encouraged by the news today."

NFL Media's Albert Breer and Ian Rapoport reported that Locker likely will miss the team's next three games. That would put him on target to return after Tennessee's bye, a Week 9 matchup against the St. Louis Rams.

Locker was injured during the third quarter of Sunday's 38-13 win over the New York Jets after being hit by defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson moments after throwing a pass. Locker was carted off the field and examined before being transferred to a local hospital. He remained overnight and was released Monday.

Ryan Fitzpatrick will step in at quarterback in Locker's absence. He'll be greeted by the teeth of Tennessee's schedule, with home dates against the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers and a dire road assignment versus the Seattle Seahawks.

If Fitzpatrick can pass the baton back to Locker with more than one win, he will have moved mountains.

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