Hasselbeck practices, says thumb has been bruised worse

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Matt Hasselbeck says his right thumb feels just fine, and he's played with much worse in the past. The Titans veteran quarterback didn't want to miss any of practice.

Coach Mike Munchak said Thursday that's why team officials make decisions about injuries, not the players.

"I think we did the right thing by telling him he couldn't do it even though he's a guy that's never going to come over to you and say, `Hey, can I rest my thumb?," Munchak said. "I would never expect him to do that. Even if it's hanging off his hand, I know he'd want to practice so it was up us to do that, and I think we did the right thing. He's better today, threw well today, and I'm sure the next couple days will be good. He's in great shape."

Hasselbeck practiced fully Thursday after being limited Wednesday. He said his thumb wasn't that bad Wednesday, but that they didn't want a bunch of snaps banging against his hand. The benefit was extra work for rookie Jake Locker, the eighth pick overall, and Rusty Smith.

"And when you're as old as I am, when you're 36, they start giving you days off if you sneeze too much," Hasselbeck joked.

He said he bruised the thumb in last week's 41-7 loss to Houston when he hit his throwing hand on the arm or elbow of a defensive lineman. Hasselbeck said his thumb will not be an issue Sunday when the Titans (3-3) host Indianapolis (0-7).

Notes: DE William Hayes (back) returned to practice but was limited. He missed the Texans' game after back spasms forced him out of practice late in the week. TE Craig Stevens (ribs), S Chris Hope (left forearm) and LB Colin McCarthy (hamstring) did not practice. LG Jake Scott got a burner in his neck late and did not finish practice. Munchak said Scott should be fine.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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