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!”
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