Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase held his Monday press conference yesterday, and the first portion of it was focused solely on Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins’ starting quarterback was injured on Sunday, a knee injury that was expected to come back as a torn ACL and an end to his season - with the possibility that recovery could extend into next season.
Gase, however, broke the news that tests revealed that the ACL was not torn, but rather the fifth-year quarterback has a sprained ACL and a sprained MCL. He did not give specifics on the grade of those sprains - and technically, a sprain is a tear in the ligament, but calling it a sprain means the tear is not complete.
“Mine was I called [Ryan] first just to see how he was doing, if he was feeling better, because that was a tough one for him to swallow yesterday,” Gase said of his reaction when he found out the knee was not as bad as originally feared. “He handled yesterday about as well as you could. He got in about four fights in the locker room trying to get out to the field to watch the end of the game. He was better than what he was earlier and then now he’s already back in here and trying to figure out what the next part of the process is for himself.”
There is no set timetable for Tannehill’s return to game action. Reports yesterday indicated it could be as early as Week 17 or a Wildcard playoff game if the Dolphins were to qualify, but a sprain could also take several weeks to heal, potentially leaving the “season-ending” part of the injury description from Sunday as a part of the prognosis. “We just have to go through all the details of everything,” Gase said of Tannehill potentially returning. “We’re just making sure we’re taking all the right steps.”
Gase reported Tannehill was back in the building on Monday. Meanwhile, backup quarterback Matt Moore, who will replace Tannehill for as long as he is rehabilitating his knee, was not in the building Monday - his pregnant wife was induced into labor.
As for if Gase felt any sense of relief with Tannehill’s test results, the coach explained, “I was happy for him. That’s a hard injury to come back from and rehab. It’s just a long, long process, and whatever we find out going forward with what his injury is, I don’t know the timetable right now. Any time you get hurt it’s never easy and there’s always a tough rehab, mentally, especially at this part of the season. Every guy wants to be out there trying to contribute as much as possible. It’s hard to sit on the sidelines and watch. There are a lot of guys that are in that position right now. I think we had five, maybe four or five of the seven guys that were inactive yesterday. They’re hurt. It’s tough for anybody to not be out there contributing.”
Gase did also confirm that, at least as of now, surgery does not appear to be a need for Tannehill.