The Tennessee Titans’ 38-13 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday saw Titans quarterback Jake Locker suffering a hip injury.
Locker was carted off the field with him flashing the thumbs-up sign after he took a hard hit from Jets defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson and and Quinton Coples in the third quarter. He landed awkwardly on his right leg and was lay still on the field for several minutes.
Locker’s hip was X-rayed in the locker room and was taken to the hospital for further evaluation, per Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.
Dan Hanzus of NFL.com points out that Titans head coach Mike Munchak made it clear after the game that Locker wasn’t taken to the hospital for surgery. An intitial evaluation of the hip at LP Field indicates there are no signs of dislocation.
Locker went 18 of 24 for 149 yards and three touchdowns before he was taken out of the game.
In his absence, backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick took over. He promptly made his presence felt with a 77-yard heave in the fourth quarter which Nate Washington caught in the end zone for the game’s final tally.
Wyatt says the Titans realize he could be their quarterback “for weeks to come, if not the remainder of the season,” an indication of the extent of Locker’s injury.
Titans wide receiver Damian Williams said the 25-point victory was “bittersweet” in light of the Locker incident.
“It is definitely bittersweet. Obviously you have to enjoy the win. It is the first time we’ve performed like this together, offensively and defensively. But when your general goes down, when your captain goes down, it is definitely tough for the team. We’re all praying and hoping for the best.”
Teammate and fullback Collin Mooney weighed in. He said, “I could tell he was in pain. He was wincing. The first thing he asked was,’Did he catch the ball?’ That’s Jake for you.”
The game against the Jets was ultimately decided by turnovers, which the Titans scored 28 points off. New York rookie quarterback Geno Smith accounted for two of those turnovers, in addition to two fumbles.
Tennessee upped its record to 3-1 while New York dropped to 2-2.