Gase Needs To See Tannehill Practice Before Naming A Starter For Playoffs

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DAVIE (CBSMiami) — With the playoffs drawing closer, the Miami Dolphins still don’t know who will be under center when they take the field this weekend.

It’s still too soon to tell whether Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be able to suit up and practice this week, though the answer should be coming to head coach Adam Gase soon.

The Dolphins are preparing to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in Miami’s first playoff game since 2008.

A win will give the Dolphins their first postseason victory since 2001, a span of 16 years.

Tannehill has not played since suffering a sprained ACL and MCL during Miami’s win over the Arizona Cardinals on December 11th.

Backup quarterback Matt Moore has filled in nicely for Tannehill, finishing with a 2-1 record while throwing eight touchdowns and three interceptions, good for an impressive QB rating of 105.6.

Gase said on Monday that he likely won’t wait until the end of the week to decide on a starting quarterback, but that’s only if Tannehill is able to return to practice.

“I’ll have a better idea whether it’s tonight or tomorrow,” Gase said of Tannehill’s status. “I need to know what his movement skills are, where we are as far as really the structure of his knee and things like that. So once I get that update, I’ll have a better idea of what we’re going to do moving forward.”

Gase said that while he wants Tannehill to play, he won’t do anything to jeopardize his long-term health.

“That guy is a freak of a nature,” Gase said. “His body is unique in the way he heals. So we’ll just take it one step at a time. I’ll have a better idea, especially once we hit Wednesday, but probably Tuesday I’ll have a good idea, so game plan-wise we can figure out what’s going on.”

At the end of the day, the decision on whether or not Tannehill plays will belong to Gase.

“I’m going to have to see him practice. I’m going to have to feel really good about this,” Gase said.

Tannehill isn’t the only injured player that the Dolphins are hoping to get back for their playoff game.

Cornerback Byron Maxwell and linebacker Jelani Jenkins are also hoping to return this week.

“Once we hit Wednesday and start going through practice and see what they can do, we’ll have a better idea,” Gase said. “We’re still really doing their rehab things. It sounds like Jelani is at least moving around a lot better than the last time we were going through this process. We need to see really where Byron is when we’re really getting him moving around against somebody else because that’s the biggest thing for him is being able to cover somebody, change direction, start and stop, things like that.”

Maxwell aggravated his ankle injury early in Miami’s Week 15 win over the New York Jets and has not played since.  Jenkins has missed seven games this season, including four of the Dolphins last five.

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