The Tennessee Titans will start rookie Zach Mettenberger at quarterback on Sunday, head coach Ken Whisenhunt announced Thursday.
The Tennesseanreported earlier Thursday that the team was planning on starting Mettenberger.
Incumbent starter Jake Locker has missed the past two games with a thumb injury. Veteran backup Charlie Whitehurst has started in his place.
Whisenhunt said Sunday that he expected Locker to return this week. Locker was limited in Wednesday's practice but intimated Thursday that he was healthy and ready to play.
Locker was a first-round pick in 2011 and is in the last year of his contract after the team declined to pick up his fifth-year option. He said he was disappointed with the decision and is unsure of his future with the team.
Locker's career record as a starter is 10-16.
Mettenberger was selected in the sixth round of this year's draft. As a senior at LSU last year, he completed 64.9 percent of his passes and threw for 3,082 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He tore his ACL in the team's final regular season game, leaving him unable to take part in early pre-draft workouts.
Mettenberger has seen action in one game this season, coming in at the end of Tennessee's Week 4 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. He completed two of five pass attempts for 17 yards and an interception.
The Titans host the Houston Texans on Sunday. Tennessee is 2-5 this season and in third place in the AFC South.
- Dan Gartland