As he stood on the sideline at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, watching his backup, Matt Moore, and the rest of his Miami Dolphins teammates pull off a last-second win over the Arizona Cardinals, Ryan Tannehill was emotional.
Tannehill and the Dolphins feared that the quarterback had suffered a torn ACL on a third-quarter hit from Cardinals’ defensive lineman Calais Campbell, an injury that would not just end his 2016 season but also negatively impact his offseason, a time to continue learning and growing under head coach/QB guru Adam Gase.
But a Monday morning MRI revealed that while Tannehill does have a sprained ACL and MCL in his left knee (meaning partial tears), he does not have a full tear and will not require surgery. Gase shared the news with reporters during a midday press conference.
“I was happy for him,” Gase said of Tannehill.
While it is the best possible news, there is no timetable for Tannehill’s return and he could miss the remainder of this season depending on how rehab goes.
Moore will start in his place, though Gase was certain to head off any potential controversy, making it clear that when Tannehill is healthy, he will step back into his starting spot.
Now in his 10th NFL season and fifth with Miami, Moore has not started a game since 2011, when he started a dozen for the Dolphins. He attempted just five passes on Sunday against the Cardinals, but completed three, including gains of 12 and 29 yards on back-to-back plays, giving Miami first-and-goal from the 1. Andrew Franks drilled the game-winning field goal from 21 yards out as time ran out.
Moore and his wife are welcoming a baby on Monday, their third.