NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Joshua Dobbs will be the Titans’ starting quarterback in Saturday’s clash with the Jaguars for the AFC South division title, coach Mike Vrabel announced Monday.
Dobbs, a six-year veteran, signed with the Titans less than two weeks ago and made his first NFL start Thursday night against the Cowboys. He completed 20 of 39 passes for 232 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the 27-13 loss.
“There was some good decision-making and he was decisive,” Vrabel said of Dobbs’ performance against Dallas. “He did a good job progressing through when we gave him some time. He tried to take the opportunity to run with and lead. He gives us the best chance to win right now.”
Vrabel said he met with both Dobbs and rookie Malik Willis, who served as the backup quarterback for most of the season. Willis, a 2022 third-round pick by the Titans, started three games in place of Ryan Tannehill this season but was ineffective as a passer.
Willis failed to pass for 100 yards or complete a touchdown pass in any of his three starts and finished with a 50.8 completion percentage. But he rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown.
The Titans were 1-2 in Willis’ starts. Vrabel challenged Willis to continue to prepare like a starter and expressed belief that the rookie can still contribute to the Titans’ success.
“I’m fairly confident that Malik is going to do something to help us in this football game,” Vrabel said.
Tennessee has lost six consecutive games, causing them to tumble out of first place in the AFC South. A win on Saturday night at Jacksonville (8:15 pm ET, ESPN/ABC) would give the Titans their third consecutive AFC South Division title, which would be a first in franchise history.
The Jaguars (8-8), who are currently in first place, have won four straight games entering Saturday’s game.
Titans starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill is out for the rest of the regular season and likely the postseason, if Tennessee qualifies, after undergoing surgery for a high right ankle sprain, sources told ESPN. The Titans officially placed Tannehill on injured reserve this past Thursday, meaning he will have to miss at least three more games before he can return.