Titans hopeful Hasselbeck will start vs. Colts despite calf injury

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans coach Mike Munchak said he's assuming Matt Hasselbeck is playing Sunday at Indianapolis until he sees otherwise. That's even though his veteran quarterback only watched practice Wednesday.

Hasselbeck hurt his left calf during last week's 22-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints, and backup quarterback Jake Locker left the game for a play after being taken to the ground by Tracy Porter. That left Locker sore enough Wednesday that his practice was limited mostly to the run game, with third-string quarterback Rusty Smith handling most of the work with the first-team offense.

Neither Hasselbeck nor Locker spoke to reporters Wednesday. Hasselbeck regularly speaks after Thursday practices. Munchak said the 36-year-old Hasselbeck hasn't practiced on recent Wednesdays to give him an extra day to heal.

If Hasselbeck can't play or the Titans decide to give the veteran another week to heal his calf, Locker, the eighth overall pick in this year's draft, could be in line for his first NFL start.

Locker has come off the bench twice this season, and he threw for 282 yards against New Orleans. That was the second-highest total by a rookie quarterback and best since Jacky Lee threw for 331 yards against Boston on Nov. 25, 1960, for the then-Houston Oilers.

The Titans listed running back Javon Ringer (hand) as out for Sunday. Munchak said they will not have to make a roster move this week to add a player at that position because rookie Jamie Harper will replace Ringer, though fullback Ahmard Hall also is an option. Wide receiver Nate Washington (left ankle), defensive end William Hayes (groin) and linebackers Gerald McRath (left knee/ankle) and Patrick Bailey (hamstring) didn't practice.

The Titans also placed safety Anthony Smith on season-ending injured reserve with an injured groin and promoted safety Robert Johnson from the practice squad.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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