By Abe Gutierrez
As anticipated, the Miami Dolphins are taking no chances with quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s injured knee, as the former first-round draft pick has been officially ruled out of Sunday’s AFC Wild Card clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers. After sitting out Wednesday and Thursday’s practices, Tannehill participated in Friday’s session, but only on a limited basis.
Adam Gase and Ryan Tannehill addressed the media
“It’s an ongoing process to try to figure out the right thing to do,” said Dolphins first-year head coach Adam Gase regarding his injured signal-caller. “That’s really where we’re at right now with him. We’ll ask him this afternoon and say ‘Did anything feel awkward? Do we have any kind of issues the next day? That’s why we did it today to try to see – we have the next couple days to see what happens post practice.”
After being on the field for the first time since injuring his left knee on Dec. 11, Tannehill said it was, “exciting to be back out there. It’s huge. I’ve put in a lot of work to put myself back out here. I felt good. It’s been a while.”
Tannehill’s potential surgery makes Fins Matt Moore’s team
Nevertheless, Tannehill also indicated that surgery during the offseason isn’t completely out of the question. The 28-year-old from Lubbock, Texas might have to go under the knife to repair an ACL tear. That certainly puts the notion that he could be cleared to play in the AFC Divisional Round—should Miami pull off a huge upset in Pittsburgh—in jeopardy, but only time will tell.
Thus, perception becomes reality and the Dolphins will start backup quarterback Matt Moore for the fourth consecutive game and perhaps until Miami’s campaign comes to a close. The 32-year-old from Van Nuys, California will be trying to get the Fins offense back into a rhythm after a subpar showing in last week’s regular season finale against the New England Patriots.
Dolphins defense dinged up
It’s no secret that Miami will have to rely on its defense in order to pull off what would be a mammoth upset at Heinz Field on Sunday. The team’s official injury report this week revealed that there are some concerns regarding the health of the Dolphins D-unit.
Listed as doubtful is cornerback Byron Maxwell, who was unable to practice this week as he continues to nurse an injured ankle. Hoping to have a healthy secondary to try and contain Pittsburgh’s dynamic one-two-punch of Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, Gase addressed Maxwell’s status.
“We’ve got him as doubtful,” Gase said of his sixth-year man out of Clemson. “It doesn’t look real good.”
In addition, there’s a pair of key defensive players that are listed as questionable this week. After limited participation in practice, linebacker Jelani Jenkins (knee) will be a game-time decision. Meanwhile, there’s optimism regarding cornerback Tony Lippett (thigh) after going through preparations for the Steelers game without limitations during this week’s practices.
Miami Dolphins NFL Wild Card Injury Report & Game Statuses
- (QB) Ryan Tannehill (Knee) — Did Not Participate In Practice
- (LB) Jelani Jenkins (Knee) — Limited Participation in Practice
- (S) Bacarri Rambo (Chest) — Limited Participation in Practice
- (CB) Tony Lippett (Thigh) — Full Participation in Practice
- (C) Kraig Urbik (Knee) — Full Participation in Practice
- (CB) Byron Maxwell (Ankle) — Did Not Participate In Practice