Titans quarterback Jake Locker suffered a right hip injury in the Titans big win over the New York Jets Sunday leaving in the 3rd quarter of the game. Obviously the injury is a blow to Locker, who had been having a great season, and the Titans who currently sit atop the AFC South with the Colts at 3-1. Titans fans are understandably concerned and upset about the injury. However, the latest news on Locker is encouraging since he has been released from the hospital and did not require any type of surgery.
So how should Locker’s teammates feel about the injury? Following the game, many players tweeted encouraging words and support for Locker which is great. No details about the mood of the locker room have been released but what should the mood be? Certainly Locker’s teammates have every reason to be concerned for him and to hope for a speedy recovery. Yet, time waits for no one and there are still games to be played. The NFL is a business and the Titans are currently on a roll. They cannot afford to be depressed or discouraged about Locker’s injury with the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs coming to town.
“Next man up” is a trite phrase but it works in this situation. The Titans signed Ryan Fitzpatrick for a reason. He is the backup to Jake Locker and he has won games in the NFL. Fitzpatrick looked a bit rusty when he was forced into action in the third quarter yesterday but he settled in and the Titans won. The defense had a lot to do with the win but Fitzpatrick did exactly what the Titans needed him to do.
If Locker is out for the next 4 to 6 weeks, which is the most likely scenario, the Titans need steady and solid play from Fitzpatrick. The run game has been a bit stagnant and there is much work to do there. Fitzgerald has a good wide receiving corp and a go to tight end in Delanie Walker. The next man up is a capable quarterback who can get the job done. The Titans need him to be a steady game manager.
It is fine for the Titans to feel badly about Jake Locker’s injury but they cannot let it affect their mood. They are on a roll and that should be celebrated. Guys like Alterraun Verner are playing well and they should absolutely enjoy it and all the accolades they are receiving. This Titans team has taken care of business thus far and they cannot afford a let down now. Time to remain focused and continue to take care of business.