NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jake Locker's season is over and now that the Titans have placed him on injured reserve with an injured left shoulder, it's likely so is his time in Tennessee.
Locker dislocated his non-throwing shoulder when hit by Jets defensive end Quinton Coples late in the first half of a 16-11 loss Sunday. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Locker wanted to see if he could get range of motion back in his shoulder hoping to play again with two games left.
But an MRI exam Monday showed Locker needs surgery Tuesday because his shoulder had popped completely out of the socket. Whisenhunt said he feels badly for Locker the way this season has gone, especially after the four-year veteran worked so hard to start last week.
"To me, he's a true pro," Whisenhunt said. "He's a great teammate, works hard and you obviously feel badly for Jake just from the standpoint of having to have surgery and his season being over."
Locker becomes the 13th player on injured reserve for the Titans and the ninth starter. He went from being the starter to benched in late October for Zach Mettenberger and back to starter again after the rookie sprained his right, throwing shoulder in a loss to the Giants on Dec. 7.
But Locker didn't last the first half. He returned to the sideline for most of the second half in case he was needed to hand off the ball. This is his sixth injury and second to end his season early. Whisenhunt said he talked with Locker after the MRI exam.
"He was obviously disappointed, which you certainly would expect," Whisenhunt said. "Once again I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jake and the way he handles himself. He's a positive young man, and he certainly feels like, even though this is a setback, this is not going to deter him."
Locker's contract is up at the end of the season. Injuries kept him out of 14 of 32 starts the last two seasons, and he started five games this season limited by injuries and being benched for Mettenberger. Whisenhunt said he couldn't answer whether that injury history affects Locker's future in the NFL.
"He's a talented player," Whisenhunt said.
The Titans (2-12) agreed to terms with Jordan Palmer, giving themselves a health quarterback to back up Charlie Whitehurst who will start in Jacksonville (2-12) on Thursday night. The 6-foot-5 Palmer has played five seasons with Washington, Cincinnati, Jacksonville Chicago and Buffalo. He was with the Bears last season before being waived after training camp this year.
Whitehurst came off the bench and nearly had his first pass on his first play intercepted with nobody between Jets linebacker David Harris and the end zone. He was 10 of 24 for 203 yards, and his final throw came on the Titans' last play. He also caught a lateral from Nate Washington before throwing back to Delanie Walker on a last gasp play that came up short of the end zone.
"He made some plays for us and made some good throws," Whisenhunt said of Whitehurst. "He started against Jacksonville the last time and played a pretty good game, so certainly feel comfortable with him."
That 16-14 win over Jacksonville on Oct. 12 was the Titans' last win before losing eight straight.
Notes: The Titans did not practice Monday, either lifting weights or getting treatment. Whisenhunt said tight end Brett Brackett was getting a knee checked and RB Dexter McCluster hurt a knee but finished the game. The Titans hope WR Kendall Wright (broken right hand) can practice some Tuesday along with LB Kamerion Wimbley (left hamstring).
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL