By Nick Shook
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It took about a week, but Ryan Tannehill has made the decision to go under the knife.
The Dolphins quarterback is undergoing season-ending surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The Miami Herald first reported the news.
Miami placed Tannehill on injured reserve Saturday morning. He is scheduled to undergo surgery next week, Rapoport reported.
Tannehill originally suffered a partially torn ACL late in the 2016 season, forcing him out of Miami’s final three regular-season games and AFC Wild Card loss to Pittsburgh. Instead of surgery, the quarterback opted for stem-cell therapy and rehab over surgery. After the same knee buckled during practice last week, that decision seemed to prove costly.
Anticipating the worst from Tannehill’s tour of medical evaluations, Miami wasted little time. Head coach Adam Gase aggressively recruited quarterback Jay Cutler, luring him out of retirement with a one-year deal worth as much as $13 million. Now that Tannehill has pulled his own plug on 2017, the Dolphins look rather wise in their expediency.
Miami now moves into 2017 with Cutler — who “remembers basically everything with the offense,” per Gase — holding the reins of an attack that has enough talent to succeed. We’ll postpone impending 2018 quarterback controversy talk for now, but applaud Miami for its swift decision-making. It’s a much better look than Sam Bradford being hurried into Minnesota to fill in for injured Teddy Bridgewater just before the start of the 2016 season.
What this means for Tannehill in the long run is a bit more complicated. ACL repairs and rehabs can be completed in as little as six months these days, meaning Tannehill will have plenty of time to get ready for 2018. Contractually is where things get muddied, as the Dolphins can quickly move on from the quarterback before next season for far less than it would cost to keep him. Around The NFL‘s Conor Orr broke it down very nicely last Sunday, which you can read by clicking here.
We now know 2017 will be the Year of Cutler in Miami. Tannehill will be watching it from the trainer’s room.