Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has been sidelined the last five games with a capsule injury to his right (throwing) shoulder, has returned to throwing the football, head coach Adam Gase said on Monday. The team is hopeful that Tannehill can get back on the field in Week 12 when the Dolphins visit the Indianapolis Colts. The Dolphins have a bye in Week 11.
Miami, 5-5 on the year, are in second place in the AFC East, two games behind the New England Patriots and are eighth in the AFC, a half-game out of the Wildcard. A return of Tannehill could bolster the team as they look to make a push for the playoffs over the final six weeks of the season.
When asked Monday about Tannehill, Gase explained, “Yeah, so he threw yesterday. That was kind of the start of their throwing progression after so many days off. It seemed like it went well. I mean it’s not like he’s out there throwing 60-yard throws. They have a progression of how they want to do it. They said it was a good first step and he felt good, so that’s a positive.”
He continued, explaining some of the plan for Tannehill over the two weeks Miami has between yesterday’s game and their next contest, “Yeah, there’s a good schedule they have planned out for the amount of time they can work this week. We’ll just progress through and see where we’re at next Wednesday.”
There are doubts about Tannehill’s shoulder being ready for Week 12, as Dr. David Chao, the former head physician for the San Diego Chargers, told Phinsider Radio last week. The key will be how Tannehill’s shoulder feels in the days after each throwing session. If he can get through the pain, he may be able to come back. If there is still pain, it could be a sign that things are more serious than believed and could lead to more missed games for Miami’s starting quarterback.
Gase added to his explanation of the throwing program, saying, “It’s just like what they’re doing right now. It’s like ‘Hey, don’t throw any balls over 15 yards. Don’t throw any over 20, 25 (yards).’ It’s going to be a progression. He didn’t throw a ball there for a while. We’ve got to be careful because it’s going to have to be built up from that.”
As for chances Tannehill is ready for Week 12, Gase explained, “They’re trying to get it to where every day we’re not getting him saying, ‘I’m having pain.’ It’s the progression of when we hit (next) Wednesday, hopefully we can get it to where now they’re saying, ‘Let him practice and this is where you need to keep the throws at.’ Or they just say, ‘Let him go, he’ll be all right.’ I’m just waiting for those directives from those guys. If we can get through this week and he feels great every day, then we’ve got a shot.”
Miami needs Tannehill to come back. They have not scored a touchdown on offense in nearly two-and-a-half games and have not had a quarterback throw for a touchdown in over three full games. Tannehill may not solve all the team’s issues, but he could be a big step in the right direction. The good news is, Tannehill’s shoulder seems to be starting to cooperate.