Locker dislocated his non-throwing shoulder for the second time this season in Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans, and the Titans are now taking measures to try to prevent it from happening again.
The team has already ruled Locker out this week against Minnesota and he could miss more time depending on how quickly the pain subsides. An MRI revealed no structural damage, and for now, Tennessee is hoping its 2011 first-round pick can avoid surgery.
“It surprised a lot of us how quickly and how good he felt within 48 hours or 72 hours of that injury last time,” Titans Coach Mike Munchak told the Tennessean Monday in reference to Locker’s Week 1 dislocation of the same shoulder. “I hope he is that way so we can make the decision on what’s best for him and the team at that point. … If we don’t feel he can function or play, obviously he won’t play.”
But at least one area expert believes surgery may be is inevitable.
“Eventually, the pain will go away,” Nashville Knee and Shoulder Center Director Mike Pagnani told The Tennessean this week. “The risk is, it’s going to happen again and it’s probably just a matter of time before it does. He is going to go out there and he is going to get hit wrong and it’s going to pop out again. And he’ll go through the same scenario where they pop it back in, and he’s going to be real sore for a week or two until he ultimately gets fixed.”
Matt Hasselbeck stepped in after Locker went down Sunday and completed 17 of 25 passes for 193 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The 14-year veteran was Tennessee’s starting quarterback last season and could provide a boost for an offense that has eclipsed 14 points only once in four games. And if Locker’s shoulder pops out again, it could be Hasselbeck’s gig the rest of the way.