By Jeremiah Thermidor
“All three quarterbacks practiced today. Ryan Tannehill was limited and he will be listed as questionable on the injury report. We’re going to make a decision as soon as we have enough relevant information to make a good decision. We have no timetable on that.” Those were Miami head coach Joe Philbin’s opening remarks during Friday’s press conference in regards to the biggest storyline heading into the Dolphins-Colts showdown on Sunday afternoon. Will Tannehill play, or won’t he? Philbin didn’t answer the question with certainty which indicates it will likely be a game-time decision. Tannehill, of course, injured his knee and quadriceps when he was sacked by linebacker Calvin Pace early in the first quarter during Miami’s matchup against the Jets last Sunday. He didn’t return to the game. In his absence, backup QB Matt Moore managed the game well leading the Dolphins to the 30-9 victory. Tannehill had an MRI the following day, which showed no structural damage in his left knee. He was diagnosed with a left knee bone bruise and a deep thigh bruise. He had the knee drained a few times and practiced, albeit in a limited role on Thursday and Friday.
If there is a concern Tannehill could re-aggravate the injury he should probably sit this one out. The Dolphins don’t want to take any risks causing any type of permanent damage if he can thoroughly heal by simply missing one game.
The team certainly has confidence in Moore, who passed for 131 yards and a touchdown in the Jets game. He’s someone the Dolphins trust to step up in this situation and deliver a win while Tannehill is recovering. “I had no doubt he was going to come in and play well and he proved right,” Dolphins running back Reggie Bush said when asked about Moore’s performance. “I thought he did a great job at handling the spot when he came in there and really taking over. We felt like we didn’t miss a beat on offense.”
In addition to Tannehill, defensive tackle Tony McDaniel is also listed as questionable on the injury report with a knee injury he also suffered last Sunday. McDaniel is a reserve behind starting left defensive tackle Randy Starks. Miami rookie defensive tackle Kheeston Randall would fill in nicely if McDaniel isn’t able to go. Also questionable is wide receiver Brian Hartline who was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday with groin and hamstring injuries. Wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, who caught a 30-yard pass in the Jets game, will be targeted a lot more in this matchup anyway. So, if Hartline isn’t able to go, the team still has a group of very capable receivers for the game.
Dolphins cornerback Richard Marshall will miss his fourth-straight game with the same back injury which has been nagging him since Miami’s matchup against the Raiders in Week 2.
Players listed as probable the Dolphins include linebacker Karlos Dansby (Bicep), quarterback Matt Moore (Right Calf), center Mike Pouncey (Achilles), running back Daniel Thomas (Elbow) and linebacker Jason Trusnik (Forearm).
Turning to the Colts, they’ll be without cornerback Vontae Davis (Knee) and tight end Coby Fleener (Shoulder) on Sunday. Both players did not practice at all this week. Cornerback Darius Butler (Shoulder) and Jeff Linkenbach (Head) are questionable while linebacker Pat Angerer (Foot), running back Donald Brown (Knee), linebacker Jerrell Freeman (Foot), linebacker Dwight Freeney (Ankle), quarterback Andrew Luck (Knee), linebacker Robert Mathis (Knee) and defensive end Fili Moala (Knee) are all listed as probable for the game.
The Indianapolis Colts (4-3) will play host to the Miami Dolphins (4-3) on Sunday at 1 p.m. eastern. You can watch full coverage of the game right here on CBS 4.
For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Dolphins news, see CBS Sports Miami.
Jeremiah Thermidor is a freelance writer covering all things Miami Dolphins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.