Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Josh Dobbs is set to make his first NFL start on Thursday night for the Tennessee Titans, according to multiple media reports.
Dobbs, who was just added to the Titans active roster from the Detroit Lions practice squad last week, will start instead of rookie Malik Willis, who has struggled in relief of injured starter Ryan Tannehill.
Dobbs was the Steelers’ fourth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Tennessee and spent most of the next five seasons as the Steelers’ third-string quarterback.
He spent all of 2017 as the third-stringer behind Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones, and then backed up Roethlisberger in 2018, playing in five games of relief. He competed six of 12 passes for 43 yards.
In 2019, the Steelers traded Dobbs to the Jacksonville Jaguars, as he had fallen behind Mason Rudolph on the depth chart. Dobbs spent that season in Jacksonville as the Steelers struggled with Rudolph and Devlin Hodges at quarterback.
In 2020, the Steelers re-signed Dobbs and he spent the last two years again as the third-string quarterback in Pittsburgh behind Roethlisberger and Rudolph. He played in one game in 2020, the season finale in Cleveland, completing 4 of 5 passes for 2 yards.
Dobbs signed with the Cleveland Browns this offseason to back up Jacoby Brissett while Deshaun Watson was suspended. He did not appear in a regular season game with Cleveland. When Watson returned, the Browns released Dobbs, and he caught on with the Lions.
Tannehill suffered an ankle injury that required surgery on Dec. 18, and is expected to be out for the season. Willis started against the Houston Texans on Dec. 24 and completed 14 of 23 passes for 99 yards and threw two interceptions. He also ran seven times for 43 yards.
Seen as one of the clear top two quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft, Willis fell all the way to No. 86 overall in the third round after the Steelers took Kenny Pickett in the first.
The Titans will face the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football.