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Titans QB Malik Willis will start Sunday against the Texans as Ryan Tannehill misses the game with an ankle injury and illness

Since taking over as QB1 for the Tennessee Titans, Ryan Tannehill hasn’t missed a start. This will change in week 8.

Tannehill has been ruled out and will not travel with the team, putting rookie Malik Willis in line to start Sunday on the road against the Houston Texans, NFL Network pundit Tom Pelissero reported Saturday afternoon.

Willis got all the starting reps in practice this week, Pelissero added.

Liberty’s third-round 2022 NFL Draft pick will make his starting debut after seeing garbage-time action in a 41-7 Week 2 loss to the Buffalo Bills and three snaps on the week pass during a win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Tannehill, who received a questionable designation Friday, injured his ankle against the Colts and added illness to injury as the week wore on. He was limited in Thursday’s practice, but did not participate Wednesday or Friday and missed Saturday’s drive, Pelissero reported.

After relieving Marcus Mariota in Week 6 of the 2019 campaign, Tannehill had logged 49 consecutive starts.

Tannehill has completed 95 of 146 passes for 1,097 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions in six games this year. While his production has hardly been sensational, his game management and leadership have been key for the AFC South’s top-place team.

Willis has been seen as a potential starting backup for Tannehill in the future, but he will be thrown in his first start earlier than expected. He should throw a bit of a curveball in the Texans’ preparations as he is a dynamic runner. Titans running back Derrick Henry, if he wasn’t already in the game plan, is also likely to see a heavy load.

The Titans (4-2) open against the Texans (1-4-1) on Sunday at 1:05 PM ET.


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