The Tennessee Titans will likely be forced to turn to backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck for the foreseeable future after starter Jake Locker left Sunday's 38-14 loss and did not return with a left shoulder injury.
According to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, Locker will have an MRI on his left shoulder Monday. Wyatt also opined that the Titans will likely shut Locker down after his second injury to the same shoulder.
Munchak said Locker will have an MRI tomorrow. I expect Titans to shut him down for bit with shoulder injury
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) September 30, 2012
Hasselbeck entered the game for Locker to start the Titans' fourth offensive series. He finished 17-of-25 for 193 yards and two touchdowns. However, three turnovers—two interceptions and one fumble—resulted in 17 points for the Texans.
While there will not be a clear diagnosis on Locker's shoulder for a few days, one could realistically assume that Hasselbeck will, at the very least, be the starter for the Titans' Week 5 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.
If Hasselbeck does start, however, his fantasy value should be low.
Locker, despite a 379-yard, two touchdown day against the Detroit Lions in Week 3, was only owned in 15 percent of ESPN leagues going into this weekend. Less than five percent of teams had Locker as their starting fantasy quarterback.
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Those numbers should be very similar if Hasselbeck is the starter moving forward.
One important factor to consider is the defense Hasselbeck could be facing next week. The Vikings, who have been one of the NFL's biggest surprises this season, shut down Matthew Stafford and the Lions high-powered offense in Week 4.
A tough, physical unit could make things very difficult for a veteran like Hasselbeck.
It would also seem unlikely that a 100-yard performance from running back Chris Johnson would be in the cards, too. Johnson rushed for 141 yards on 25 carries Sunday in Houston.
The fact that Locker will likely retain his job once he's healed hurts Hasselbeck's value too.
Looking ahead, the only way Hasselbeck makes any sense as a fantasy option would be as a desperation find in deep leagues. There will simply be better options at quarterback on the waiver wire if you truly need one.