Joshua Dobbs will most likely start for the Tennessee Titans against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night.
Dobbs, who was released from the Detroit Lions’ practice squad eight days ago, will start instead of rookie Malik Willis, who has had problems in three starts. Dobbs will make his NFL debut here.
The Draft Network was the first to report the news.
After undergoing surgery for a high right ankle sprain last week, Titans starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill is out for the rest of the regular season and probably the postseason, if Tennessee qualifies, according to sources who spoke with ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Tannehill was officially placed on injured reserve by the Titans on Thursday, requiring him to miss at least four games before he can play again.
In his three starts in place of Tannehill, Willis, who was selected in the third round of this year’s draft, has not completed a pass for a touchdown or passed for 100 yards. Despite Willis completing just 50.8% of his passes and having three interceptions, the Titans are 1-2 in his starts. He has scored a touchdown and rushed for 123 yards.
“As [Willis] continues to grow and mature, I think he’ll see some things a little bit quicker,” Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing said this week. “I can put him in some better positions, and it’s all hands on deck as we try to get things figured out.”
Several starters for the game against the Cowboys have been ruled out by Tennessee, including Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons. In addition, Derrick Henry, a Pro Bowl running back, is not playing because he was listed as doubtful.
Bud Dupree and Zach Cunningham, linebackers, were two of those starters who were ruled out. On Thursday, they were placed on injured reserve.
After suffering a hip injury earlier this season, Dupree was placed on injured reserve after suffering a pectoral injury. He finishes the season with nine quarterback hits, six tackles for loss, and four sacks. In 2021, the Titans offered Dupree an $82.5 million contract for five years.
The Titans claimed Cunningham from waivers during the previous season. After being placed on injured reserve in November, he suffered an elbow injury that caused him to miss six games in a row. Cunningham was activated from injured reserve by the Titans last week, but he suffered a second elbow injury in a game against the Houston Texans. Cunningham restructured his contract to provide $6 million in cap relief, despite the fact that he was scheduled to earn $10.4 million this season.
The team coached by Mike Vrabel is currently on a five-game losing streak. The Titans (7-8) are in a win-and-in situation next week against the Jacksonville Jaguars (7-8), regardless of Thursday’s outcome, even though a victory against Dallas would greatly improve morale.
Dobbs has played in six games during the regular season in his career, all with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who took him in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL draft. In those games, he has completed 10 of 17 pass attempts for 45 yards and an interception.
Dobbs did not play in any games this season for the Cleveland Browns. When quarterback Deshaun Watson was added to the active roster following his 11-game suspension, the team decided to cut him.
“He’s a very bright young man and he’s working really hard to pick everything up,” Downing said. “There’s some familiarity and carryover in the terminology from where he was in Cleveland. I was with [Browns coach Kevin] Stefanski in Minnesota, so I can try to give some ‘Spanish to English’ to him a little bit. I think as long as we can identify what he’s comfortable with, that’ll determine the volume.”