Titans start Will Levis against the Falcons, making him 7th rookie QB starter

Levis was selected with the No. 33 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis (8) looks for a receiver during their NFL football...
Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis (8) looks for a receiver during their NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn.(AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Published: Oct. 29, 2023 at 1:17 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans started Will Levis at quarterback Sunday, making him the seventh rookie to start in the first eight weeks of this season and marking the most in that span of an NFL season since the 1970 merger, excluding the 1987 strike season.

The Titans (2-4) declared Ryan Tannehill out Friday with a sprained right ankle, but coach Mike Vrabel declined to say who would start in Tannehill’s place.

But Tennessee introduced Levis, the No. 33 pick overall in April out of Kentucky, before kickoff against the Atlanta Falcons to a big roar from the fans.

Levis threw two first-half touchdown passes to DeAndre Hopkins.

Levis is the third rookie quarterback to start a game inside the AFC South alone, joining Anthony Richardson of the Colts and Houston’s C.J. Stroud.

Bryce Young, Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Aidan O’Connell and Tyson Bagent are the other rookie starters at quarterback.

Clayton Tune is the only other rookie to throw a pass this season.

But second-year quarterback Malik Willis came in on the fourth play of the Titans’ opening drive after Levis picked up 3 yards and a first down on third-and-1 using the “tush push.” Willis fumbled on his first snap, and Atlanta recovered at the Titans 28.


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