NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Tennessee Titans are preparing for another AFC South showdown against the Texans.
The biggest question heading into this match up is who the starting quarterback will be for the Titans. ESPN reported Saturday that the Titans ruled Ryan Tannehill out with an ankle sprain that he injured against the Colts and an illness that kept him away from practice two days this week.
That means rookie Malik Willis will get his first NFL start Sunday and according to his teammates and coaches, he’s ready for the challenge.
“I think experience is irreplaceable,” said offensive coordinator Todd Downing. “And Malik did a great job yesterday with the stuff we asked him to do. He’s grown each and every day, and he’s learning what it’s like to be a pro quarterback. I think all that stuff’s great for Malik.”
“We’re confident in Malik,” said Titans wide receiver Robert Woods. “He still has to execute the same game plan and still have to put us in good position to win. And obviously, we have to step up and make make him feel comfortable. But really, we’re just asking Malik to play his game, allow him to be comfortable and make the throws when he needs to.”
This week we also got a first look at wide receiver Chris Conley, who was just signed to the roster from the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad Tuesday. He knows it will take a while to build that trust and fill the shoes of Kyle Philips, but he’s ready to put in the work.
“It’s the mindset of a competitor,” Conley said. “It doesn’t matter who’s in the room, it doesn’t really matter what the scheme is, it’s how can you learn that and how can you go out there and dominate and execute? And I know that that is a mentality that’s shared by a lot of people in this locker room. I know guys on this team have friends that have been on this team, and they’ve always been about that.”
Downing said he’s been very impressed with the seven-year veteran.
📧 Have breaking come to you: Subscribe to News 2 email alerts →
“I think he’s worked very hard to be able to contribute if his number’s called,” said Downing.
Conley said Thursday, “I’ve just been trying to immerse myself in the culture of the team here and to be as much of a Titan as I can be on Sunday.”
It appears Nate Davis and Zach Cunningham will make their returns Sunday, but Jeffery Simmons is still listed as questionable with an ankle injury.
Titans take on the Texans at NRG Stadium Sunday, with kickoff set for 3:05 p.m.