Matt Hasselbeck has been named the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Titans when they travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings on Sunday. Titans head coach Mike Munchak made the announcement Wednesday, ending any belief that Jake Locker would play despite suffering a separated shoulder to his non-throwing arm.
"We’re going to start Matt at quarterback this weekend and … (have) given Jake the week off," Munchak said. "Jake’s sore today as he was yesterday. … Even though he’ll probably be better the next couple days we don’t want to have him suit up as the backup. We felt that if he couldn’t start, we’d rather him not suit up … let him rest the next couple days."
Locker, who was sidelined in Week 4 against the Houston Texans following a Glover Quin sack, was immediately taken to the locker room for further evaluation and watched the rest of the game wearing street clothes and with his arm in a sling. Earlier this week, the Titans announced that Locker has no structural damage and would be “day-to-day” during the week.
Also on Wednesday, Munchak announced that Rusty Smith will be the No. 2 quarterback behind Hasselbeck against the Vikings.
The Texans defense had its way with Hasselbeck, returning two of his interceptions for touchdowns in the 38-14 loss. The QB finished the day completing 17 of 25 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns, but never was able to get in rhythm.
Although Minnesota’s defense has been able to bottle up the run, it’s likely that the Titans will try to get running back Chris Johnson involved in the game plan. After three underwhelming weeks, Johnson was finally able to break loose and had his season-high performance, running 141 yards on the ground last week.