Barring a setback.
"If he's not feeling he can do things, he'll be honest with us," Titans coach Mike Munchak said Thursday. "He knows we want to win. He wants to start, and we want him to start. If for some reason he's not at his best, we'll rethink the position. Right now we're all thinking positively that he's going to be the starter."
Hasselbeck hurt his left calf early in last week's 22-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints. He had an MRI exam Monday and watched practice Wednesday as part of a plan put together by doctors and trainers to work him back onto the field. Hasselbeck was limited Thursday, but he did warm up and practice some handoffs while throwing only out of the shotgun.
The 13-year veteran hasn't missed a start this season since signing a three-year contract with Tennessee. He said his calf feels good, and he'll be in by 6:30 a.m. Friday for more tests just like a handful of other players.
"I don't think I was going to outrun Freeney or Mathis," Hasselbeck said.
"You're definitely more of a sitting duck, but you can throw the ball, which is nice. Even the last time we played them, I don't know how many sacks we had, if we had any. If you get the ball out quick, it doesn't really matter."
Hasselbeck was sacked only once Oct. 30 during a 27-10 victory over Indianapolis in Nashville. But he's a big reason why the Titans (7-6) go into their final three games needing to win all three and get some help to land the AFC's final wild-card spot in Munchak's first season as head coach.
Notes:Nate Washington (left ankle) missed his second consecutive practice after having a career-high 130 receiving yards last week. Munchak said he expects Washington to practice Friday. ... RB Javon Ringer remains out with a broken right hand but will get the cast off his hand Monday. ... DE Dave Ball and rookie OL Byron Stingily had a couple of fights in practice Thursday. Munchak said it was two unlikely combatants with Ball getting mad at something, while Stingily is showing more personality over the past month.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press