Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker had surgery on his left shoulder on Wednesday, according to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. He reports the team is hopeful Locker will be back to full health by May.
RGIII isn't the only QB having surgery today. #Titans QB Jake Locker's left shoulder also being operated on. Team hoping he's back by May— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) January 9, 2013
The second-year quarterback was drafted by the Titans with the eighth overall pick in 2011 and was unable to replicate his promising rookie performance. He accounted for more turnovers (15) than touchdowns (11) and completed just 56 percent of his passes.
He also missed five games due to the same injury early in the season. Although his non-throwing shoulder is the one that's being operated on, it clearly bothered him enough throughout the season that surgery became a necessity.
Should Locker enter next season as the starter?
What it means for Locker's future is unclear. Even though he struggled to reach expectations in his first season as a starter, it's hard to imagine the Titans giving up on him after just 16 games. They used a valuable pick to select him, after all.
That said, he's going to need to make major strides in his third season in order to gain the franchise's trust. Any practices he's forced to miss during the offseason will be another step in the wrong direction, which means he can't afford to suffer any setbacks.
The Titans don't have any other appealing options on their roster after a lackluster season in relief from Matt Hasselbeck, which means they would probably have to look outside the organization if they want to replace Locker.
More likely, they will hope he can return to full strength quickly and take control of the job during training camp. Having shoulder surgery allows him to jump the first hurdle, but there are several more between now and Week 1 of the 2013 season.
It's going to be a make-or-break 12 months for Locker.