Jake Locker completed his best half of football as an NFL quarterback. The former University of Washington star threw three first-half touchdowns Sunday in Tennessee’s 38-13 win against the New York Jets. Locker hadn’t thrown three touchdowns in a game since college.
Now a third-year pro, Locker was experiencing a breakthrough of sorts, tossing six touchdowns and no picks in the first four games of a season that most experts pegged as one that will determine whether he is fit to be a starter in the NFL. Then came the third quarter.
With 11:14 remaining, he was sacked and eventually carried off the field in a stretcher with a serious hip injury.
Locker, 25, was struck hard by Jets’ defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson before bouncing awkwardly off of Quinton Coples. Paramedics loaded Locker into an ambulance and drove him to a local hospital, causing some to speculate that his hip had dislocated. A source Monday night told the Associated Press that Locker was going to spend the night in the hospital for further evaluation.
Locker, 25, completed 62.2 percent of his passes and threw for 721 yards in 14 quarters, as the surprising Titans jumped to a 3-1 start to their 2013 season. In Week 2 against the Chargers, Locker engineered a 94-yard, game-winning fourth-quarter touchdown drive, capping a 20-17 win in the final seconds with a 34-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Justin Hunter.
As of Monday morning, there was no update on Locker’s status. Locker won a 3A state championship his senior year at Ferndale, then spurned professional baseball suitors to play four years at the UW, amassing 7,639 passing yards and 53 touchdowns.