Titans confirm Locker out for season
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)
Coach Mike Munchak said Monday losing Locker is very disappointing and hard on the Titans (4-5).
''To lose him now is a huge blow,'' Munchak said. ''I mean you watch any team that loses their quarterback it's a big effect on the team.''
The quarterback was hurt in the second quarter of a 29-27 loss to Jacksonville at the end of an option play. Locker, who was on crutches and a walking boot, told reporters before leaving the stadium he hoped and prayed the injury wouldn't end his season.
''So it's hard for him,'' Munchak said. ''I know how depressed he is, I know how hard this hurt him and our team. I mean, he's a fighter.''
Munchak said whether Locker will need surgery to repair his foot will be decided in the next few days after consulting with surgeons.
The Titans drafted Locker with the eighth selection overall in 2011 to be their franchise quarterback. Locker is 8-10 since becoming a starter, but he will wind up missing 14 of a possible 32 starts in his first two seasons. Asked if he was worried Locker is injury prone, Munchak said that will be a discussion topic in February.
''We're just concentrating on these seven weeks,'' Munchak said. ''That's all we're concerned about. Next year is next year. Right now we just got to go forward and try to win a game.''
Ryan Fitzpatrick replaces Locker with the Titans hosting Indianapolis on Thursday night. The Titans signed him to back up Locker in March, and Fitzpatrick went 0-2 against Kansas City and at Seattle when Locker hurt his right hip and knee Sept. 29 against the Jets.
Fitzpatrick threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns as a reserve in the loss to the Jaguars, and he also ran for a touchdown trying to rally the Titans.
Fourth-year QB Rusty Smith will be Fitzpatrick's backup.
Tight end Delanie Walker, who caught a 14-yard TD pass from Fitzpatrick with 40 seconds left, said they need Fitzpatrick to step up.
''He's going to be the starting quarterback from now on because Jake is out for the year, so Ryan has no choice but to play good,'' Walker said. ''I feel like he did a great job against the Jaguars. This is his opportunity to be the man now.''
Walker pointed at other NFL teams that have lost starters at that position.
''But when it's your turn to step up, you've got to step up and play, and that's where we're at,'' Walker said.