Titans HC Mike Vrabel says Malik Willis, Will Levis likely to play Week 8 if Ryan Tannehill (ankle) sits out

The Tennessee Titans could utilize a two-quarterback game plan in Week 8 versus the Atlanta Falcons.

Head coach Mike Vrabel told reporters that starter Ryan Tannehill won’t practice on Tuesday due to an ankle injury sustained in Week 6. If Tannehill can’t play on Sunday, the coach expects both Malik Willis and rookie Will Levis to see action.

“We’ll see where (Tannehill) is at the end of the week,” Vrabel told reporters. “If Ryan can’t play, I would anticipate both of those quarterbacks playing in the football game.”

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Tannehill suffered an ankle injury in the Titans’ loss to Baltimore in London before their Week 7 bye. NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero reported over this past weekend that the QB’s injury was similar to the one suffered last year that required surgery but not as significant. The Insiders noted that it was unlikely Tannehill would be able to suit up on Oct. 29 versus Atlanta.

Willis earned three starts last season in Tannehill’s absence but struggled mightily, leading the Titans to import Joshua Dobbs to make two starts at the end of the season with a playoff shot on the line. Willis again struggled in relief in Week 6, completing 4 of 5 passes for 74 yards and adding three rushes for 17 yards while taking four sacks in two fourth-quarter drives.

The Titans traded up to draft Levis early in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. However, the rookie suffered a thigh injury during a joint-practice in August, wiping out the final two preseason games and much-needed reps for the Kentucky product.

Given Wills’ lack of development and Levis’ lack of reps, it’s little surprise Vrabel would see which fares better in live action. But two-QB systems rarely work well for long.

Vrabel underscored that any discussion about QB usage on Sunday would revolve around Tannehill’s health.

“We’ll see what the game plan looks like,” he said. “First of all, see where Ryan’s at, and then talk about what we may want to do throughout the course of the game.”

The Titans sit at 2-4, last in the AFC South.

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