The 49ers prepared to face two different quarterbacks this week.
It turns out, the extra work will pay off. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Jake Locker will start for the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
Locker suffered hip and knee injuries against the New York Jets on Sept. 29 and was replaced in the lineup by veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Titans, however, dropped back-to-back games with Fitzpatrick as a starter and dropped to 3-3 on the season.
PHOTO GALLERY: HISTORY OF 49ERS-TITANS MATCHUP
Locker was cleared for contact earlier in the week and reportedly took the majority of first-team reps at Tennessee’s Friday practice. He was listed as questionable on the final injury report for Week 7.
The 49ers were ready for Locker and Fitzpatrick to start.
“It’s not the first time a team’s been in position that way,” Jim Harbaugh said at his Friday press conference. “So you just do it and prepare for both.”
“He’s like a running back with his ability to run the football,” Harbaugh said earlier in the week. “I’ve always thought that. And I’ve seen it up close, been defeated by it.”
Locker was picked No. 8 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, 26 spots ahead of 49ers starter,
“He’s evolved, grown,” Harbaugh said. “He’s always been an extremely tough competitor.”
Locker has completed 69 of 111 passes for 721 yards with six touchdowns and zero interceptions this season. Locker has a career 57 percent completion percentage, but is competing a career-high 62.2 percent of his passes in his third year with the Titans.
The 49ers coach went on to say, “If there’s any possible way that he would play, he’ll be out there.”
It turns out, Harbaugh was right.
Locker should be healthy enough to start Sunday at LP Field against San Francisco.