NFL

Titans QB Locker back at practice, targeting Oct. 28 return

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Associated Press
10/17/2012 5:31:10 PM
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NASHVILLE -- Jake Locker has practiced for the first time since dislocating his left, non-throwing shoulder and coach Mike Munchak said the Titans' quarterback is on target to return when Tennessee hosts Indianapolis on Oct. 28.

Locker loosened up Wednesday by throwing a few short balls before working in individual drills. He also threw during 7-on-7 for the defence for his first practice since dislocating his left shoulder Sept. 30 for the second time in four games.

Munchak said Locker did what they hoped he would be able to do, and the coach watched the eighth pick overall in 2011 in individual drills.

"It was what we hoped he'd be able to handle," Munchak said. "Now it's just to see how sore he got and keep progressing and giving him more to do. He's a guy you have to hold back. He wants to be out there. In his mind, he'd be able to play tomorrow if he had to play. We'll see how sore he got from what he did today and keep adding more to his routine."

Veteran Matt Hasselbeck will start Sunday in Buffalo (3-3) for the Titans (2-4) with Locker returning to the starting lineup against the Colts if there are no setbacks. Even if Hasselbeck leads the Titans to a second straight win, Munchak said he will have no problem returning the offence back to Locker, who started the first four games.

"We feel comfortable because the receivers, everyone he's so familiar with the offence that if he's ready to play next week that there wouldn't be any doubt he'd be the guy playing," Munchak said.

Hasselbeck is completing 60.2 per cent of his passes for 726 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. He's also been sacked eight times. Locker has thrown for 781 yards with four TDs and only two interceptions while being sacked three times.

A good sign for the Titans is that receiver Kenny Britt was not on the injury report Wednesday. But Colin McCarthy did not practice and wore a walking boot Munchak said was only to protect the linebacker's right ankle. McCarthy played every defensive snap in the 26-23 win last week over Pittsburgh, and Munchak said they hope McCarthy practices Friday.

Notes: Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey (shoulder) also did not practice and is expected back Friday. Linebacker Zach Brown (illness) did not practice along with running back Javon Ringer (left knee) and cornerback Tommie Campbell (left ankle). Brown is expected back Thursday, while Ringer and Campbell are out against Buffalo.

Jake Locker (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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