DAVIE (CBSMiami) — Returning from a season-ending knee injury, Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is fully healed and feels “totally normal,” allowing him to take part in offseason workouts without restrictions.
The Dolphins’ signal caller partially tore his ACL and MCL in Week 14, forcing him to miss the postseason and potentially jeopardize the 2017 season. Tannehill avoided surgery, however, and rehabilitated the ligaments, including stem cell treatment.
On Thursday, he spoke with the media for the first time since the season ended, saying he has no remaining hurdles in his recovery and the leg brace he’ll be using this season won’t limit his mobility.
“That was one of the concerns when I first started wearing the brace back in January, just moving with it. I’d worn one previously in college, and I kind of thought that,” he said. “But it doesn’t at all. That’s one thing that I’m excited about. I guess the brace technology, the fitting, is a little better. There’s an extra strap on there that I think that wasn’t on there on my previous brace and that kind of holds it in place and allows you to keep the mobility.”
Tannehill suffered the injury, a direct hit to the knee by defensive end Calais Campbell, on December 11th. A little more than a month later and he said the knee was already feeling better.
“It started feeling good probably at the end of January. I was rehabbing it hard every day – a few hours every day,” he recalled. “It finally got to the point where I’m comfortable with it, I feel like I can make any cut, and I trust it. That’s the biggest thing is do you trust it? Are you able to move without thinking about, ‘Is something going to happen?’ Once it got to that point, I really felt great about it.”
It feels good now but what happens when he gets hit?
“Everyone else gets hit during camp, so it’s usually that first or second preseason game when you finally do go to the ground, and it’s like, ‘Alright, everything is fine,’” Tannehill said. “But as far as the knee goes, that plays no factor into the knee. That’s just a normal process every year, to get that first hit under your belt.”
Earlier this week, Tannehill took part in the team’s first organized activities of the offseason. Along with the brace on his knee this year, you may also notice a chip on his shoulder.
“This is a ‘prove it’ league,” he said. “You always have something to prove.”