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Ryan Tannehill (ankle) to miss Titans' Week 16 game vs. Texans; Malik Willis to start at QB

Ryan Tannehill was tough enough to return to Tennessee's Week 15 loss, but he won't be able to do it again this weekend.

The Titans quarterback's ankle injury will prevent him from playing against Houston on Saturday, coach Mike Vrabel told reporters Thursday. Malik Willis is expected to start in Tannehill's place.

Tannehill suffered the injury early in Tennessee's eventual loss to the Chargers, and Willis briefly replaced him, playing eight snaps before Tannehill returned to finish the game.

After losing four straight games, Tennessee desperately needs a win in Week 16 to keep the red-hot Jaguars at bay. Willis has started two games in his rookie season, completing 44.7 percent of his passes for 177 yards and one interception in seven overall appearances. Tennessee actively avoided relying on him to throw frequently, instead turning to heavy doses of Derrick Henry to power the offense, a relatively successful approach that produced a 17-10 win over Houston and a three-point loss to Kansas City.

They may need Willis to do more this weekend against a Houston team that owns the worst record in the league, but has given its opponents all they can handle in recent weeks.

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