Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has officially been placed on injured reserve, ending his chances of playing in the regular season and almost certainly ending his 2022 campaign.
Tannehill (ankle) theoretically could be activated for the AFC Championship Game, if Tennessee were to make it that far. However, the Titans have lost five straight heading into Thursday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys and will be starting third-string QB Joshua Dobbs over rookie Malik Willis, who had started in Tannehill's place three times this season, including in last week's home loss to the Texans.
The Titans' season will come down to their Week 18 game against the Jaguars. The winner of that will take the AFC South title, and the loser is all but assured of missing the postseason (Jacksonville has a very slim shot of earning a wild-card spot).
There had been hope Tannehill could return prior to the end of the regular season after seeing a specialist at the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center in Birmingham, Alabama. He suffered the injury in the Week 15 loss to the Chargers, though he reentered the game as he tried to gut through the pain of the high-ankle sprain.
Tannehill, 34, will finish the 2022 season having completed 65.2% of his passes for 2,536 yards, and 13 touchdown passes -- his lowest TD total since his rookie year in 2012 -- in his 12 starts. Although he's under contract through 2025, Tannehill's future with the Titans is unclear. He's on the books for a $36.6 million salary-cap hit in 2023, and the final two years of his deal are voidable.
Willis' immediate future is also uncertain after the decision to start Dobbs on Thursday. The third-round pick out of Liberty ran for his first NFL TD last week and has run for 127 yards this season. But Willis has no TD passes and three interceptions, completing only 31 of 61 passes (50.8%) for 276 yards in his eight games (three starts).
The Titans also placed linebackers Bud Dupree and Zach Cunningham on IR.