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The quarterback carousel spins again for the Tennessee Titans, who will be starting their third quarterback in three weeks when Charlie Whitehurst takes the helm after Jake Locker was lost to a season-ending shoulder injury.
Locker had only been in as the starter because Zach Mettenberger suffered a shoulder injury the week before in a loss to the New York Giants.
Both quarterbacks were operating behind a very porous Titans offensive line that has lost both tackles to injury as well as starting center Brian Schwenke.
Now, Whitehurst, a career backup for virtually his entire nine-year NFL career, is back and making his fourth start of the season for the Titans. After being pushed to inactive status for several weeks as the Titans turned to Mettenberger and made Locker the second-stringer, Whitehurst was not only back and active, but now is starting once again.
Ironically, as the Titans prepare to face the fellow AFC South woebegone Jacksonville Jaguars, there is a bit of irony in the fact that the last time Tennessee won a game, it came at the expense of the Jaguars with Whitehurst under center as the starting quarterback.
Whitehurst's approach is simple. He just wants to relax, have some fun and see if he can somehow inspire a 2-12 team to end an eight-game losing streak when they face another 2-12 squad.
"We're going to go out there; we don't really have a lot to lose. That's kind of our mindset. We're going to go out there, be confident, let it all hang out and try and get a win," Whitehurst said.
While Whitehurst doesn't like the circumstances with which he is back in the lineup, he is nonetheless happy to be playing again.
"It's been good. The circumstances aren't great. I came here as a backup, but when something like this does happen, it does give you a chance. There's no substitute for playing," Whitehurst said. "You get to play, you get to play in the NFL. It's been pretty awesome for me personally, but there's been a lot of anguish and a lot of heartache. I've been a part of some of these losses, and that's been tough. You definitely feel more a part of the team and I hope to go out and help us get a win."
Should something happen to Whitehurst - and Titans quarterbacks have been falling like flies lately - next in line is journeyman Jordan Palmer, who basically had two days to learn something about the Titans' system after being signed Monday to back up Whitehurst.
SERIES HISTORY: 40th regular-season meeting. Titans lead series, 22-17. Tennessee's Sammie Hill blocked a field-goal attempt on the final play of the game by Josh Scobee to preserve a 16-14 Titans win on Oct. 12.
BY THE NUMBERS: 42 - The Jaguars had been underdogs for 42 consecutive games, one shy of the NFL record, but are favorites over the Titans by 2.5 points in opening lines released Monday.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
"Always, as long as Ruston Webster is there, I look forward to doing it." Former Titans DT Sen'Derrick Marks on whether or not he gets fired up to face the Titans. He signed with the Jaguars in 2013.