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Titans QB Locker to miss a few weeks

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker will miss a ``few weeks'' with a sprained hip, and the Titans say they are encouraged by the news from a second MRI exam.

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The Titans released a statement Tuesday with the update, but did not say how long the quarterback will need to recover. The team says the second MRI exam was ``reassuring'' and confirmed Locker did not suffer major damage to his hip joint.

``The area will need time to heal and strengthen, but he won't require surgery and he has already begun a rehab routine for both his hip and knee,'' the statement said. ``We certainly would expect him to miss a few weeks, but we are encouraged by the news today.''

Coach Mike Munchak had dismissed reports Monday that Locker would miss at least a month and possibly up to eight weeks, saying everyone was just ``guessing.'' He said they needed the second MRI exam because Locker had swelling in his hip.

Ryan Fitzpatrick will start Sunday for the Titans (3-1) against Kansas City (4-0), and Tennessee has not made any roster move yet to add another quarterback to the roster. Rusty Smith already is on the practice squad, but the Titans would have to release someone else to promote him to the roster in a move that would not have to be made until Saturday.

The timing could not be worse for the Titans. Locker missed five games last season with an injured left shoulder for a team that lost four of its first five games. The Titans now are off to a strong start, and Locker certainly is a reason why.

Locker currently is the third-ranked quarterback in the AFC by passer rating behind Denver's Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers of San Diego. Locker currently has a 99 passer rating and is completing a career-high 62.2 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Titans wrap up a three-game home stand against the Chiefs on Sunday before visiting Seattle (4-0) on Oct. 13. They host San Francisco (2-2) before their bye. If Locker is out for only a month, he could be on target to return Nov. 3 when Tennessee visits St. Louis.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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