PHOENIX — Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill may have returned if the team had beaten the Pittsburgh Steelers and advanced in the NFL playoffs, coach Adam Gase said Tuesday.
Tannehill had returned to limited practice and was pushing Gase and the team hard for a return from a knee sprain. Nearly three months later, it sounds like Tannehill very well might have been successful in his plea if the team had won a game with Matt Moore as starter.
“I think it would have been really hard for us to keep him off the field for that game,” Gase said. “It probably would have come down to us as a coaching staff making a decision what was best for him. And that would have been a tough one for us. Because you want to do what’s best for the team and best for the organization but when your starting quarterback is basically saying I can go.”
Gase noted that Tannehill has a stronger personality behind closed doors than is often presented publicly.
“I don’t know if you guys have ever seen Ryan get mad but it’s he’s very persuasive,” Gase said. “I know he comes across as very mild-mannered but there is a side to him that is a competitive side that not a lot of people get to see. And you know that’s what you want out of your starting quarterback.”
We’ll never know for sure. Because the Dolphins lost. And the final decision never actually had to be made.
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