Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said this week of Jake Locker's critical fourth season: "He knows what's at stake. He's got to perform."

A clean bill of health will help.

Tennessee's young quarterback has shed his walking boot and moved to the next phase of recovery after Lisfranc surgery in November ended his third season in the league.

"Surgery went really well," Locker texted the Tennessean on Thursday. "Foot feels awesome and rehab is up and rolling. Doctors were happy with how things looked so (I'm) just continuing to follow that trend."

Locker is entering the final year of his rookie deal for a team unsold on picking up his $13 million, fifth-year option. He's under the gun to show a new coaching staff that he can stay on the field after missing 16 games over the past two seasons.

"You'd like to have a little bit more to evaluate," Whisenhunt said this week at the NFL Annual Meeting. "One of the things that I think is important when you're evaluating is, where was he three years ago and where was he this past season? And his play has improved."