Titans '99 percent certain' that Jake Locker (foot) is out for season

11/11/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

After a surprising 3-1 start, the Tennessee Titans lost quarterback Jake Locker to a hip injury that many considered to be a crippling blow to their offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick came in and lost both of his starts against two of the most ferocious defenses in the league (KC and SEA), dropping the team's record to 3-3. Though Locker's 326 yards and two touchdowns were not enough to take down the San Francisco 49ers in Locker's first game back, he led his team to a win over the St. Louis Rams the following game. With the pathetic Jacksonville Jaguars on the schedule in Week 10, it looked like the Titans were looking at an easy trip to 5-4, putting them squarely in the AFC playoff race.

Blog Photo - Titans '99 percent certain' that Jake Locker (foot) is out for seasonAfter a tough first quarter, however, Locker's day got even worse when he went down with a foot injury. Locker injured his foot as he botched the exchange on a handoff to Chris Johnson, and to make matters worse, the Jaguars recovered the fumble. Locker left the game with his team in a 13-0 hole, and while Fitzpatrick came on and played well in relief, it wasn't quite enough as the Jaguars got their first win of the season by a score of 29-27.

As if dropping to 4-5 on a day when the division rival Indianapolis Colts (who lead the AFC South) lost was not enough, the Titans got some horrible news following their disappointing game. Locker's ailment is supposedly a Lisfranc injury, which will likely require surgery. A source has told ESPN that the team is "99 percent certain that [Locker] will miss the remainder of the season."

Just one game behind the New York Jets for the second AFC wild card spot, the Titans' playoff aspirations are not dead yet, but Fitzpatrick will now be thrown into the fire and has to play well down the stretch. Though he was released by the Buffalo Bills over the offseason, Fitzpatrick had some years as a serviceable starter up north. In 45 games from 2010 to 2012, Fitzpatrick posted a decent 81.3 quarterback rating with a 71:54 touchdown to interception ratio. If the Titans can lean on their rushing attack, Fitzpatrick should be able to pull out plenty of wins for Tennessee.

The Titans have two huge games against the Colts (who are 6-3) over the next three weeks, and they could put themselves right back in contention for an AFC South division title with a couple of wins. The Colts have been up and down all season and are coming off an embarrassing 38-8 loss to the St. Louis Rams. The Titans have plenty of other winnable games (OAK, ARI, JAX, and HOU) left on the schedule, with one nearly impossible contest in Denver. If Fitzpatrick can manage wins over the Titans' unimposing opponents while pulling off a win or two against the Colts, the Titans will certainly have a shot at the postseason. The loss of Locker definitely hurts, but I don't believe that it necessarily means the end of the road in Tennessee.
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