Titans rookie Will Levis will be QB1 going forward

The Tennessee Titans are committing to rookie quarterback Will Levis for this week and the remainder of the season, head coach Mike Vrabel announced Tuesday.

"Let me just kind of clear up some things here going forward. Will [Levis] is going to be our quarterback. We're going to go with Will," Vrabel told reporters. "We think that's the best opportunity for our football team right now."

Despite trade rumors ahead of the deadline, the hope is that veteran Ryan Tannehill will progress into the backup position behind Levis, Vrabel added.

Tannehill, 35, is losing his starting role after he went down with a right ankle sprain in the Titans’ Week 6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in London, and he's been out of commission since. The 2019 Comeback Player of the Year threw for 1,128 yards, two touchdowns and six interceptions in six games this season. Set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, Tannehill is in the final year of a four-year, $118 million contract extension that was signed in 2020.

Earning the QB1 title is a victory for Levis, who fell out of the first round of the NFL Draft in April. The Titans traded up to select him in the second round. He missed time in training camp due to injury, causing him to be passed over at backup for a seemingly new and improved Malik Willis. Willis completed 4 of his 5 passes for 74 yards when he came in for Tannehill in Week 6.

Tennessee turned to Levis in Tannehill's continued recovery, and the rookie played relatively well in his first two starts. He recorded four touchdowns in the team's Week 8 win over the Atlanta Falcons. The 24-year-old still showed promise on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But he was sacked four times and his last-second drive for the comeback was thwarted to seal the 20-16 loss.

Now, the Titans will work to determine whether they can build around Levis for the future, an effort that continues against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.