Titans head coach Mike Munchak said on Monday that he expects that quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will likely make his fifth straight start on Sunday against Chicago and also tried to quash the idea that the team might trade tight end Jared Cook.
Munchak said he originally thought that starting quarterback Jake Locker might miss two or three weeks with an injury on his non-throwing shoulder but said that “until further notice” that Hasselbeck would start on Sunday at LP Field against the Bears. Hasselbeck is 2-2 since filling in. He won two straight, but lost at home 19-13 in overtime on Sunday to Indianapolis as the Titans fell to 3-5.
Munchak said Locker was scheduled to visit doctors later on Monday and that the situation was “more of a medical deal.” The Titans’ bye week is soon approaching on Nov. 18 and Munchak admitted that the closer the team gets to that date without having Locker return that it might just make more sense to wait until after that and give the second-year player more time to heal.
Munchak said the organization’s thinking has been more day-to-day than long-term with the injury.
“That will factor into the thinking, yes,” he said of the bye week’s approach. “When we’re told he can go and he has no limitation, if that starts up this week or next week we’ll give him a chance. If he’s not there and it will be smarter to give him the extra week, we’ll do that.”
As for Cook, The Tennessean newspaper reported on Monday that “there are indications the Titans have received a trade request” from Cook, a 6-foot-5, 248-pound fourth-year player who has 28 receptions for 373 yards for a 13.3 average yet seems to be underutilized. Cook’s agent did not comment to the paper.
Munchak said he did not foresee the team trading the player before the deadline, which was scheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET but which the league moved to Thursday as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
“I don’t see that happening,” Munchak said.
He said Cook’s agent is “calling and stirring the pot.”
“This is not the time for those things,” he said. “…We’re all frustrated. I’m frustrated, too. I hope everyone’s frustrated. I think we all can do more, every one of us. You’re 3-5. That’s not good enough. That includes every one of us. It means you work your way through it and let’s find a way to get to 5-5. That’s where the frustration should be used.”
Note: Quotes for this story were provided by watching a live stream of Munchak’s news conference on the Titans’ Web site.