Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill still involved, still eying return

Ryan Tannehill is still part of the Dolphins. (Getty Images)

Ryan Tannehill is still part of the Dolphins. (Getty Images)

DAVIE–Ryan Tannehill is doing everything possible to be ready to play again this season, and that includes going through all the meetings during the week. He also served as essentially an extra quarterbacks coach during the Dolphins’ 34-13 win at the Jets last week.

Part of that is being a good teammate, part of it is staying engaged. The Dolphins haven’t given any medical update on Tannehill since saying he has a sprained MCL and ACL in his left knee. Tannehill described it as a grade-2 sprain and denied an NFL Network report that the MCL has torn completely off the bone.

Miami ruled him out of the Jets and Bills game immediately, but hasn’t placed him on Injured Reserve. That might be the most telling indicator of what the team believes about his injury, because management would be eager to fill the roster spot if there’s no chance of Tannehill returning.

“I take the same approach as almost everything else,” coach Adam Gase said. “When somebody tells me something different, then I’ll react then. But I’m not going to start guessing on how long or when some kind of answer is going to come about… They haven’t told me that we should shut him down yet. That’s all I know.”

Tannehill was completing 66.7 percent of his passes, averaging 233.3 yards per game and threw 16 touchdowns against 11 interceptions for a 91.3 passer rating. That was before taking a hit to the knee in Miami’s win over Arizona on Dec. 11.

He’s been with the team nonstop despite having a full cast on his left leg. It already looks highly doubtful that he would be back for the regular-season finale against the Patriots, but Miami is on the cusp of clinching a playoff berth. Putting Tannehill on Injured Reserve would rule him out for the postseason.

If the Dolphins were to reach the second round of the playoffs, that would be more than a month after Tannehill’s injury.

While he waits, he is staying completely locked into what’s going on with his team.

“Ryan was exemplary,” offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said. “There he is in a cast; he’s on the sideline risking getting run over, over there. He didn’t have to do that. He could’ve sat in the box, in the comfort up there. He goes out there in the cold because he’s out there with his buddies.

“I don’t think he missed a meeting. He’s contributing. He’s got his notebook out. A lot of these guys, after they get hurt they disappear. They’re not in the building. ‘Why would I come over here? Why am I here all night helping QB Matt get ready when I could be at home with my new baby, and my wife? I’m not going to play this week anyway.’”

Gase likened Tannehill to an extra member of the coaching staff, particularly for backups Matt Moore and T.J. Yates.

“If there is any kind of question, he can answer it,” he said. “We’ve kind of gained an extra member to help our guys out from what he sees, and he’s spent a lot of time still watching film and trying to help out in any role he can.

“He’s committed to what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to win one game this week and he’s done everything he can, especially the last two weeks, to help us on anything that he sees. He’s communicated with me quite a bit game-plan-wise with anything he sees on tape to where he thinks Matt would like. He does have the most knowledge as far as he spent so much time with Matt, when they go through game plans, they both know what each other likes. He can give me a heads up of he’ll like this, this and this, so he’s been very helpful for me.”

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