Titans quarterback Jake Locker’s season is over after the team placed him on the season-ending injured reserve with a left shoulder injury, and his time in Tennessee is most likely over as well.
Locker dislocated his non-throwing shoulder when he was hit by Jets defensive end Quinton Coples late in the first half of a 16-11 loss Sunday. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Locker wanted to see if he could get range of motion back in his shoulder hoping to play again with two games left.
But an MRI on Monday revealed that Locker’s shoulder had popped completely out of the socket and he will undergo surgery to repair it on Tuesday.
Locker becomes the 13th player on injured reserve for the Titans and the ninth starter. He went from being the starter to being benched in late October for Zach Mettenberger and back to starter again after the rookie sprained his right, throwing shoulder in a loss to the Giants on Dec. 7.
But Locker didn’t last the first half. He returned to the sideline for most of the second half in case he was needed to hand off the ball. This is his sixth injury and second to end his season early. Whisenhunt said he talked with Locker after the MRI exam.
“He was obviously disappointed, which you certainly would expect,” Whisenhunt said. “Once again I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jake and the way he handles himself. He’s a positive young man, and he certainly feels like, even though this is a setback, this is not going to deter him.”
Locker’s contract is up at the end of the season. Injuries kept him out of 14 of 32 starts the last two seasons, and he started five games this season limited by injuries and being benched for Mettenberger. Whisenhunt said he couldn’t answer whether that injury history affects Locker’s future in the NFL.
The Titans agreed to terms with Jordan Palmer, giving themselves a healthy quarterback to back up Charlie Whitehurst who will start in Jacksonville on Thursday night. The 6-foot-5 Palmer has played five seasons with Washington, Cincinnati, Jacksonville Chicago and Buffalo. He was with the Bears last season before being waived after training camp this year.
Whitehurst came off the bench and nearly had his first pass on his first play intercepted with nobody between Jets linebacker David Harris and the end zone. He was 10 of 24 for 203 yards, and his final throw came on the Titans’ last play. He also caught a lateral from Nate Washington before throwing back to Delanie Walker on a last gasp play that came up short of the end zone.
That 16-14 win over Jacksonville on Oct. 12 was the Titans’ last win before losing eight straight.