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Titans Name Starter against Steelers



Steelers Titans Will Levis
Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis (8) reacts after throwing a touchdown pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

The Titans have named rookie quarterback Will Levis as their starter for their upcoming Thursday Night Football game against the Steelers, head coach Mike Vrabel announced. Starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill is dealing with a high ankle sprain and has missed the last two games, and it appears he will not play again.

“As of right now, I’d imagine it will be Will [Levis],” Vrabel said.

Tannehill has not been able to do much of anything, according to Vrabel. So, Levis will get his second career start over Malik Willis after lighting it up against the Atlanta Falcons in the team’s 28-23 victory on Sunday.

Levis finished 19 of 29 for 238 yards and four touchdowns after coming on in relief of Willis, who never attempted a pass. Levis connected with DeAndrew Hopkins for three of his touchdowns and Nick Westbrook-Ihkine for the fourth.

Levis started his collegiate career at Penn State, but transferred to Kentucky when he couldn’t find playing time behind Sean Clifford. With the Wildcats, Levi threw for 5,232 yards and 46 touchdowns over two seasons, setting him up as one of the top quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft class.

But for unknown reasons, Levis fell out of the first round, landing in Tennessee with the 33rd overall pick in the second round. The Titans had already used a third-round pick on Willis in 2022 but went back to the well with Levis when they saw a more ready-made option to replace the aging Tannehill. The Steelers will have a challenge to slow him down.

“Well, he can really spin it,” defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said. “He’s got a strong arm and he makes throws that a lot of guys can’t make. So, that’s the challenge.”

Levis was outstanding against Atlanta, but the rookie now has a full game of tape out on him. Pittsburgh will have to slow the upstart rookie down, but they believe they are up to the task.