Miami Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill credits wife Lauren with getting him through toughest times

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) receives a kiss from wife Lauren after practice at Dolphins training camp in 2013. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

DAVIE — Ryan Tannehill had the support of coaches during his long recovery process.

He had the support of teammates and fans.

But the person he leaned on the most, and the one who lifted his spirits the best, was the one you should have guessed.

“My wife, honestly,” Tannehill said Wednesday of Lauren. “Having her supporting me throughout that season was tough. It was a long year. There were some dark times. I tried to stay positive and take it in stride as much as I could and just do the best that I could in rehab and grow and get stronger each and every day. But it’s hard.”

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When Tannehill reinjured his knee in training camp last year, it cost him the 2017 season but may have afforded him a bit more time with son Steel in the first year of his life.

Even so, Tannehill is a football player, and football players want to be preparing to play football. In fact, Tannehill found he missed preparations even more than gamedays.

“It was a hard time for me just not being around the guys, not being out at practice,” Tannehill said. “I was around in meetings but it’s just not the same. You can’t replicate that time of grinding it out on the practice field together and going through the ups and downs of playing games and going through practice. That was the hardest part for me.

“I think initially when you get hurt, you kind of think, ‘Oh, the games will be what I miss the most.’ And yes, I really missed the games. It was tough every Sunday seeing the guys run out there on the field and not being a part of it. But what I miss the most was day in and day out, the grind of the preparation, of competing with the guys, pushing them and trying to make them the best players that they could be, making the offense the best it could be and just driving the offense. That was the hardest part for me.”

As far as Lauren goes, there’s an excellent chance she knows how much he appreciates her. Last year, he got a tattoo on his right arm.

“It’s laurel leaves for my wife,” he said. “My wife’s name is Lauren. Lauren means ‘by the laurel leaves,’ so that’s it.”

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