NASHVILLE, Tenn. — One minute Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker was — quite literally — playing the game of his life on Sunday.
The next, he was being carted off LP Field and whisked to St. Thomas Hospital, where he was admitted after suffering an injury to his right hip.
And all of a sudden, Locker’s immediate future looks much cloudier than it did at halftime of Tennessee’s 38-13 win over the New York Jets.
The results of an MRI on Locker’s hip weren’t immediately known, but he was to remain in the hospital overnight.
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The Titans had no official update on Locker’s health early Sunday evening, other than coach Mike Munchak saying Locker, the former Husky standout, did not need immediate emergency surgery. Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains indicated after the game that Locker could be out for at least a few weeks.
That would mean a promotion for second-string quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Harvard graduate the Titans signed last March to a two-year, $6.5 million contract for just this kind of scenario. Fitzpatrick is considered one of the league’s top backup quarterbacks. He has started 68 games over a nine-year career — including 45 over the past four seasons in Buffalo.
“The reason I was brought here was to help Jake out and be ready for a situation like this if it came up,” Fitzpatrick said. “If (Locker) is not in there, this is why they brought me here — no longer to tutor Jake and help him along, but to help win football games for this team.”
Locker was injured with 11:14 remaining in the third quarter.
After throwing an incomplete pass, he was hit first by Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson and then by linebacker Quinton Coples. Locker fell to the ground, his body twisting as he dropped.
Locker clutched at the hip immediately and was soon carted off the field, with fans standing on their feet and chanting “Jake, Jake, Jake!”
• L.C. Greenwood, the relentless defensive end who made up one quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ “Steel Curtain” defense of the 1970s, has died. He was 67. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office said Greenwood died from undisclosed causes. A six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, Greenwood played for the Steelers from 1969-81, helping Pittsburgh win an unprecedented four Super Bowls in a six-year span.
• Matt Prater’s 53-yard field goal in a 52-20 win over Philadelphia capped Denver’s 15th consecutive regular-season victory, besting the franchise mark of 14 set in 1997-98. It also broke the team scoring record of 50 set against San Diego on Oct. 6, 1963. Only the 1966 Dallas Cowboys, with 183 points, scored more than the Broncos’ 179 in their first four games.