NASHVILLE – Titans Coach Mike Vrabel made one thing clear on Monday: If Ryan Tannehill is healthy, he’ll be the team’s starting quarterback on October 29 against the Atlanta Falcons.
He used those exact words, in fact.
“If he can go,” Vrabel said, “Ryan will be our quarterback.”
What’s not clear: Tannehill’s health, and potential availability.
“We’ll see how it goes,” Vrabel said. “We have some time here before our next game, and Ryan will get treatment around the clock. This will be a big week to see how he progresses and then we’ll make a decision on his availability next week and what we do then.”
Vrabel said on Monday that Tannehill’s injury is similar to an ankle injury he initially suffered early last season, and that kept him out two games. Later last season, Tannehill re-injured the ankle, and he ended up on Injured Reserve.
On Sunday, Tannehill suffered another right ankle injury against the Ravens in London. Tannehill didn’t finish that contest – he was replaced in the fourth quarter by Malik Willis – and he left Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in a walking boot, using crutches.
So, who would the Titans start if Tannehill can’t play?
Vrabel didn’t say, although his options are Willis, or rookie Will Levis, the team’s second pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Willis completed 4-of-5 passes for 74 yards against the Ravens, but he was sacked four times. Willis played in eight games during his rookie season in 2022, with three starts.
Something to keep in mind: The Titans are scheduled to play two games in five days when they return to action after their bye, the Falcons game on Sunday, October 29, and then against the Steelers on Thursday, November 2.
“It will be one of those two guys if Ryan can’t go,” Vrabel said. “I don’t know who that would be yet. We’ll see how they continue to practice. It will be good to get them work this week with some guys they haven’t necessarily worked with – they’ve been working on the show team during the season, so I am excited to get both those guys some reps with some of our offensive guys and see how they handle that.”