Titans QB Malik Willis will start Sunday vs. Texans as Ryan Tannehill misses game with ankle injury, illness

Since taking the reins as the Tennessee Titans' QB1, Ryan Tannehill hasn't missed a start. That will change in Week 8.

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

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

The 2022 NFL Draft third-round pick out of Liberty will make his starting debut after seeing action during garbage time in a 41-7 Week 2 loss to the Buffalo Bills and three snaps last week 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 played out. He was limited in Thursday's practice, but did not participate Wednesday or Friday and missed Saturday's walkthrough, Pelissero reported.

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

Tannehill's 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 first-place squad.

Willis has been seen as a potential starting replacement for Tannehill down the road, but will be thrust into his first start ahead of schedule. He should toss a bit of a curveball into the Texans' preparations as he's a dynamic runner. It's also likely that Titans running back Derrick Henry, if it wasn't already in the game plan, will see a heavy load.

The Titans (4-2) kick off against the Texans (1-4-1) on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET.

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