Mike Vrabel predictably refused to give anything away about who will be under center on Sunday when the Falcons come to town, telling reporters that he wouldn’t rule Ryan Tannehill out but did say that he anticipates Malik Willis and Will Levis would play if the veteran couldn’t go.
It’s textbook Vrabel, but that’s what NFL insiders are for! According to Ian Rapoport, the Falcons can expect rookie second-round pick Will Levis to start Sunday’s Week 8 contest in Tennessee.
Sources: The #Titans are preparing rookie QB Will Levis to start on Sunday, as the 2nd rounder should make his NFL debut.
With Ryan Tannehill (ankle) likely out, coach Mike Vrabel said both Levis and Malik Willis would play. But Levis is expected to be the primary QB. pic.twitter.com/aEb6MEXpiu
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 25, 2023
Tannehill suffered an ankle injury in the Titans’ loss to Baltimore in London before their Week 7 bye. In his absence across the pond, Malik Willis got the call, completing 4 of 5 passes for 74 yards and adding three rushes for 17 yards. Not too shabby, until you realize he also took four sacks.
Sitting 2-4 and at the bottom of the AFC South, it’s evident the Titans are seeing what they have in the rookie. Tennessee traded up early in the second round to land Levis, who suffered a thigh injury in August, which kept him out of the final two preseason contests.
Those are valuable reps for a young quarterback, and now the Kentucky product is being thrown into the fire. His rookie counterparts have had varying results.
Things won’t be easy for Will Levis in his first career start. Ryan Nielsen’s defense is a top 10 unit. The Falcons pressure opposing quarterbacks at one of the highest rates in the league, and are stingy on third down and in the red zone.
Nielsen and the Falcons defense are licking their chops at the thought of facing a rookie in his first NFL start.