Titans' quarterback Jake Locker has avoided surgery on his injured hip after a second MRI revealed that he did not suffer major damage. Locker was taken off the field on a stretcher in the Titans' Week 4 win over the Jets, when he was hit hard by New York defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson.
The fact that Locker will not need surgery is great news for the Titans. The third-year quarterback is expected to miss 4-6 weeks of action, but will now likely avoid going on injured reserve. Veteran passer Ryan Fitzpatrick will start in place of Locker while he is recovering from the injury.
Below is some other news from around the NFL that you may have missed on Tuesday:
The Falcons continue to be hampered by injuries to several key players. Wide receiver Julio Jones and running back Steven Jackson were held out of practice on Tuesday. Jackson has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury while Jones suffered a minor injury to his knee in a loss Sunday night to the Patriots. Despite the injury, Jones finished the game against New England and collected more than 100 receiving yards.
The DW of The Falcoholic chronicled the Falcons' injuries on Monday:
All of that said, it would not be fair to slam the Falcons without noting that this team has been slammed by injuries. The loss of two of our best defenders - Biermann and Weatherspoon - has only been piled upon by the injuries to Jackson, Samuel and Baker on the offensive side. That's not even mentioning the loss of Mike Johnson in the preseason, and the nagging injuries to Roddy, Dent and others. While I love the "next man up" mentality, at some point the injuries take their toll. And they've certainly been a factor this year.
Patriots' defensive tackle Vince Wilfork's season is done after having successful surgery on his torn Achilles tendon on Tuesday. The veteran was injured on Sunday night in the Patriots' win over the Falcons. The Pro Bowler has not missed a game since 2009 and has been a key player on the Patriots' roster for a decade.
The Patriots will now have to rely on Joe Vellano and Chris Jones across from Tommy Kelly. Vellano was signed as an undrafted free agent this summer. Jones also joined the Patriots this offseason after he was let go by the Buccaneers. Kelly is a veteran that signed a two-year deal after playing his entire career with the Oakland Raiders.
Teams around the NFL are adding to their rosters in anticipation of Week 5. The Bengals have signed veteran linebacker Michael Boley to a contract and have waived cornerback Curtis Marsh in a corresponding move. The Rams plan to re-sign linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar after he was reinstated from a four-game suspension from the NFL. Dunbar played with St. Louis last season but was cut in offseason.
The Buccaneers did some moves as well by cutting safety Ahmad Black and wide receiver Kevin Ogletree. The Redskins also dropped talent from their roster with the release of kicker John Potter and defensive end Phillip Merling. Both Tampa Bay and Washington will be on bye in Week 5.
The Bills may not be light as running back in Week 5. Despite both suffering injuries in Week 4's win against the Ravens, running backs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson both practiced on Tuesday. The Bills are set to face the Browns on the Thursday Night Football, so a speedy recovery from their top-two backs is great news.
The Bills will likely split the load between both players if they are active on Thursday. If either misses Week 5's matchup against Cleveland, veteran Tashard Choice will get carries for Buffalo. The Bills also are keeping an eye on injuries to wide receiver Stevie Johnson and safety Jairus Byrd.