Published date: October 25, 2023, 09:25.
Last update date: October 25, 2023, 09:25.
The Tennessee Titans lost quarterback Ryan Tannehill to an ankle injury two weeks ago. Rookie backup Will Levis expects to make his first start for the Titans in Week 8 when they host the Atlanta Falcons.
Titans (2-4) had a bye in week 7. After starting the season with a 2-2 score, they lost two matches in a row.
There are injuries in teams entering the 8th week of the season. Half the teams in the AFC South will start a backup quarterback this week, including the Titans and Indianapolis Colts.
Gardner Minshew is filling in for Anthony Richardson on the Colts. Richardson will not play this season while recovering from shoulder surgery.
Although Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars has not missed a game this season, he is rehabbing his knee injury.
Another ankle injury for Tannehill
Tannehill injured his right ankle early in the second half against the Baltimore Ravens in London. He tried to play through the pain but left the game in the third quarter. He was taken to the locker room.
“I tried to eviscerate him,” Tannehill said. “I couldn’t use any power in the shots. I knew I couldn’t move. I tried to move on but it was getting worse every day. I couldn’t make the shots.
Malik Willis completed the shutout, but 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 America, an MRI revealed that Tannehill had suffered a similar injury to the one he suffered last season. The Titans had a bye in Week 7, so all parties were optimistic Tannehill could start in Week 8.
In 2022, the Titans jumped to a 7-3 record before imploding. They lost seven consecutive games to end the season and missed the play-offs. Tannehill missed three games at the end of last season with a right ankle injury that was one of the reasons for the Titans’ demise.
Willis was a rookie with the Titans last season. He started in Week 16 but lost a close game to the Houston Texans on Christmas Eve. Josh Dobbs started the last two games for the Titans in Weeks 17 and 18, but their losing streak continued and they missed the playoffs.
Vrabel hints at Willis and Levis Combo in Week 8
The Titans listed Tannehill as questionable on the injury report due to a high ankle sprain. It’s moving in the right direction, but it’s not ready to take action.
Head coach Mike Vrabel has yet to name a starter against the Falcons, but has suggested that both reserves (Willis and rookie Will Levis) could compete in Week 8.
Multiple outlets, including NFL Network, have reported that Levis will make his first start on Sunday.
The Titans lacked confidence in Willis, a third-round pick out of Liberty in the 2022 NFL Draft, so they selected another quarterback in this year’s draft.
The Titans selected Levis from Kentucky with a second-round pick and 33rd overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. Levis was the fourth point guard selected in the 2023 class but fell in the second round. Three quarterbacks were selected with the first four picks, including Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Richardson.
Tannehill had struggled this season before getting injured. He completed just 62% of his passes, a career low with the Titans. He passed for 1,128 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions.
Running back Derrick Henry has thrown for half as many passing touchdowns (one) this season as Tannehill (two). Henry attempted passes on trick plays twice this season and connected on one touchdown pass.
Tannehill has a 38-23 record as the Titans’ starting quarterback. He went 30-13 in his first three seasons at Tennessee but has remained below average since then, with an 8-10 record in his final two seasons. In 149 total NFL starts, 88 of which were with the Miami Dolphins, Tannehill is 42-46.
2-4 Betting on Titan
The Jaguars (5-2) are in first place in the AFC South and are the favorites to win the league at -185 odds. The Houston Texans (3-3) are in second place and have +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, their odds of winning the AFC South are +700.
The Titans have a +425 chance of making the playoffs and a -600 chance of missing the postseason for the second year in a row.
The Titans are +2.5 points behind the Falcons (4-3) in Week 8. The Falcons remain in 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.