Tennessee Titans Rookie Quarterback Will Levis Expects to Start Week 8

Posted on: October 25, 2023, 09:25h. 

Last updated on: October 25, 2023, 11:42h.

The Tennessee Titans lost starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to an ankle injury two weeks ago. Now, rookie backup Will Levis expects to get his first start for the Titans in Week 8, when they host the Atlanta Falcons.

Will Levis Titans
Rookie quarterback Will Levis, seen here during a preseason game with the Tennessee Titans, is expected to replace an injured Ryan Tannehill in Week 8. (Image: Getty)

The Titans (2-4) had a bye in Week 7. They lost two games in a row after starting the season at 2-2.

Injuries are catching up with teams heading into the Week 8 of the season. Half of the teams in the AFC South will start a backup quarterback this week, including the Titans and the Indianapolis Colts.

Gardner Minshew is filling in for Anthony Richardson on the Colts. Richardson is out for the season while recovering from shoulder surgery.

Although Trevor Lawrence from the Jacksonville Jaguars hasn’t missed any games this season, he’s nursing a knee injury.

Another Ankle Injury for Tannehill

Tannehill went down with a right ankle injury early in the second half against the Baltimore Ravens in London. He tried to play through the pain, but exited the game in the third quarter. He was carted away to the locker room.

I tried to gut it out,” said Tannehill. “I couldn’t get any force into the throws. Knew I wasn’t going to be able to move. Tried to keep walking it off, but it was getting worse and worse. I wasn’t going to be able to make the throws.

Malik Willis finished the game and the Ravens defeated the Titans, 24-16. Willis completed 4-of-5 passes for 74 yards and was sacked four times.

When the Titans returned to the States, an MRI revealed that Tannehill sustained a similar injury to the one he had last season. The Titans had a bye in Week 7, so all parties were optimistic that Tannehill could start in Week 8.

In 2022, the Titans jumped out to a 7-3 record before they imploded. They lost seven consecutive games to end the season and missed the playoffs. Tannehill sat out three games at the end of last season with a right ankle injury, which was one of the reasons for the Titans demise.

Willis was a rookie last season with the Titans. He started in Week 16 and lost a close game to the Houston Texans on Christmas Eve. Josh Dobbs started the final two games for the Titans in Week 17 and Week 18, but their losing streak continued and they missed the playoffs.

Vrabel Hints at Willis/Levis Combo

The Titans listed Tannehill as questionable on the injury report with a high ankle sprain. He’s trending in the right direction, but not ready to return to action.

Head coach Mike Vrabel has yet to name a starter against the Falcons. But he suggested that both backups, Willis and rookie Will Levis, could see action in Week 8.

Multiple outlets, including the NFL Network, reported that Levis will get his first start on Sunday.

The Titans lacked faith in Willis, a third-round pick from the 2022 NFL Draft out of Liberty, so they picked another quarterback in this year’s draft.

The Titans selected Kentucky’s Levis with a second-round pick, #33 overall, in the 2023 NFL Draft. Levis was the fourth quarterback taken in the 2023 class, but he slipped to the second round. Three quarterbacks were selected in the first four picks, including Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, and Richardson.

Tannehill struggled this season prior to his injury. He completed only 62% of his passes, which is a career-low with the Titans. He’s passed for 1,128 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions.

Running back Derrick Henry has half as many passing touchdowns (one) as Tannehill this season (two). Henry attempted two passes on trick plays this season, and connected on one touchdown.

Tannehill has a 38-23 record as the starting quarterback of the Titans. He went 30-13 during his first three seasons in Tennessee, but has been subpar since, with an 8-10 record over his last two seasons. In 149 total starts in the NFL, including 88 with the Miami Dolphins, Tannehill is 42-46.

Betting the 2-4 Titans

The Jaguars (5-2) are in first place in the AFC South, and they’re the betting favorite to win the division at -185 odds. The Houston Texans (3-3) are in second place, and +330 odds to win the division. The third-place Colts (3-4) are the long shot at +1200 odds. Even though the Titans are in last place, they’re +700 odds to win the AFC South.

The Titans are +425 odds to make the playoffs and -600 odds to miss the postseason for the second consecutive year.

The Titans are a +2.5 home underdog against the Falcons (4-3) in Week 8. The Falcons hold down first place in the wide-open NFC South.

The Titans are 3-3 against the point spread (ATS), and the Falcons are one of the worst betting teams in the NFL with a 2-5 ATS record.