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Titans prepping to use Will Levis as primary QB vs. Falcons with Ryan Tannehill (ankle) unlikely to play

The Titans plan to give rookie Will Levis the bulk of the playing time Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

Tennessee is prepping Levis to start Week 8 with Ryan Tannehill (ankle) unlikely to play, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday, per sources informed of the situation.

Coach Mike Vrabel noted Tuesday that both Levis and Malik Willis would play, but Rapoport noted that the rookie is expected to be the primary signal-caller. On Wednesday, Vrabel reiterated his intention to play both young QBs in the event Tannehill, who will not practice on Wednesday, is unable to go.

The news from Rapoport comes as little surprise given the struggles Willis has shown in three starts last year and again in replacing Tannehill in the fourth quarter of Week 6 versus the Ravens. In just two drives against Baltimore, Willis took four sacks while completing 4 of 5 passes for 74 yards and adding three rushes for 17 yards.

Levis was expected by most scouts to be a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but slid to Day 2, where the Titans jumped up to draft him No. 33 overall. The Kentucky product boasts a massive arm and experience running a pro-style system but had turnover and accuracy issues at the college level.

The rookie entered training camp battling Willis for the backup duties, but a thigh injury in mid-August joint practices wiped out valuable preseason reps for Levis. In his lone preseason game, the rookie went 9-of-14 passing for 85 yards, an interception and took four sacks in 30 plays.

Tannehill suffered an ankle injury in the Titans' loss to Baltimore in London before their Week 7 bye. Vrabel kept the door open for the veteran to return, but every report since the injury suggested Tannehill would miss at least some time due to the injury.

Tennessee could utilize Willis as a change-of-pace QB, particularly given his running acumen, but handing the reins to the rookie makes the most sense for the 2-4 Titans. They need to find out what they have in Levis with Tannehill hitting free agency in 2024.

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