DAVIE — There’s no medical reason for the Dolphins to treat Ryan Tannehill differently from any other player on the roster during offseason practices.
He’s expected to practice in all 13 sessions of Organized Team Activities and minicamp, and Tannehill said doctors have told him his surgically repaired left knee is cleared for any football activity. It’d be safe for him to play in a game right now.
“At this point it’s just let it rip,” he said. “Throughout the rehab process, you’re pushing it. I’m grinding it out, I’m running, I’m cutting. I’m doing a lot more agility and movements that I won’t really be doing playing football. The knee has been tested to the ninth degree of pushing it as far as it can go.
“When I’m out on the field, I’m just playing football. It’s past thinking about it or questioning it. Now it’s just go out and do my job.”
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That means the Dolphins don’t need to put constraints on his workload in terms of the amount of snaps he takes, though they will monitor him for any warning signs like unexpected soreness or swelling in his knee. There also won’t be anything off limits in terms of keeping him from rolling out or working on quarterback runs.
He isn’t required to wear a knee brace and hasn’t had one the first two days of OTAs. He’ll do so for protection in games because hits like the original one he took from Calais Campbell that bent his knee the wrong way, but won’t need it during the week. Whether he chooses to wear it for in-season practices will be up to him.
Tannehill initially suffered MCL and ACL sprains, which can include partial tearing, in his left knee in December 2016. Rather than have surgery, he rehabbed the injury and was ready to practice by OTAs in May.
His knee gave out on a noncontact play in August, after months of him and the Dolphins saying they had no concerns about such an issue, and he quickly opted for season-ending surgery. Tannehill said today he views the “train wreck” as a singular injury spread out over eight months since his knee was not as stable as believed it to be.
However, he’s not second-guessing his original decision to rehab it early in 2017 rather than have surgery. Tannehill said he got the best medical advice available and his course was well-reasoned at every step.
“Going back to the process we went through after I first got injured, I got multiple opinions,” he said. “Everyone’s opinion lined up on the plan of action and we followed that plan precisely. Everyone was in conclusion on what the answer should be.
“Going back, I would do it the same way. Obviously it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to… but we sought out the best options we could find and everyone was in agreeance, and the knee was stable. It was just unfortunate the way it turned out.”
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