Being benched for a rookie is always a tough situation for a seasoned quarterback.
Ryan Tannehill, the Titans quarterback, dismissed rumors that he sought release after the team named Will Levis as the starter earlier this month. Addressing reporters on Friday, the experienced quarterback expressed surprise at the social media reports.
“I was kind of caught off guard by those reports as well,” Tannehill said. “Obviously, I have a desire to play, but I just don’t know what that looks like at this point.”
Before the recent game against the Buccaneers, Titans coach Mike Vrabel declared that Levis would be the team’s starting quarterback “moving forward.”
“Let me just clear up some things here moving forward,” Vrabel stated. “Will is going to be our quarterback. We are going to go with Will. We think that is the best opportunity for our football team right now.”
Tannehill, who played only six games this season due to an ankle injury, lost his starting position after the injury against the Ravens. The rookie Levis, who impressed in his debut during the team’s Week 8 win over Atlanta, has struggled in the last two weeks, completing only 52.6% of passes without throwing a touchdown, resulting in consecutive losses to the Steelers and Buccaneers.
If Tannehill were to become a free agent, his experience would likely make him a sought-after option, especially considering season-ending injuries to multiple quarterbacks, including Deshaun Watson and Joe Burrow.
Tannehill has established himself as a reliable quarterback but may not be the kind to single-handedly lead a team very far.