The Miami Dolphins are hoping that the injury to Ryan Tannehill is nothing major and that he will only miss a few weeks instead of a few months. If however Tannehill is out months, can the Dolphins repeat their success of 2017?
It’s obviously too early to talk about the sky falling but any team that suffers a significant injury to their starting quarterback faces those questions. In Indianapolis the Colts are not sure when Andrew Luck will be back and if he starts on the PuP list he won’t return until after week 6. Teams with well-rounded positional units can overcome these types of injuries but is Miami one of them?
Early reports had Tannehill heading out for the year but then an NFL.com report said there was no structural damage and then the Miami Herald reported that Tannehill will be getting a second opinion and that it isn’t known if there is structural damage or not. So again we wait.
Matt Moore immediately becomes the starter in this situation and Adam Gase has a lot of faith in the veteran. Gase has worked wonders with players like Jay Cutler and Tim Tebow and turned around the play of Ryan Tannehill so he should be able to turn to Moore.
Obviously depth becomes a question as well and the Dolphins may turn to the free agent market to see if someone can fill in behind Moore until Tannehill is ready to come back but again, what if this is long-term?
The front end of the Dolphins schedule is a lot easier than the back-end. While they will travel for three out of the first four weeks that includes trips to the West Coast, Los Angeles, and to London, the Dolphins will be facing the Chargers, Saints, Jets, and Buccaneers. Even with Matt Moore Miami should be able to win those games.
While it does start to get harder after the Saints game, the Titans in week five is a winnable game at home and the Jets two weeks later should be a win as well. Again, with Matt Moore behind center. Hopefully by this time if indeed Moore is the quarterback the offense has found its balance and Moore has found his rythym or Tannehill is ready to come back. The finals stretch is going to be tough with the Ravens, Raiders, Panthers, Broncos, Chiefs and two against both the Bills and the Patriots.
While all eyes are focusing on the quarterback there are other concerns that could derail the season quicker than Tannehill’s knee. The health of Mike Pouncey and the left guard situation after Ted Larsen went down with a torn bicep today. He will miss weeks of the regular season. Then there is the concussion to Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake is banged up.
So again, can Miami repeat? Of course but it’s not going to be easy and honestly, I think Adam Gase has the tools to make it happen.