Whisenhunt conceded the team is seeking a spark to snap out of its early-season malaise. Starting Mettenberger the rest of the way will provide plenty of game film to dissect as the front office decides whether to invest an early-round draft pick in a quarterback next offseason.
Locker could have avoided the hook had he stayed off the injury report. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that the team isn't confident Locker's thumb will stay healthy if he continues to play.
It's no surprise that Locker's leash was so short. His obvious physical tools will always intrigue NFL coaches, but he seemed to take two steps back for every step forward in his development as a pocket-passer.