TAN­NEHILL HAV­ING SEA­SON-END­ING SURGERY

Tan­nehill orig­i­nally in­jured his knee last sea­son against Ari­zona.

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Chris Perkins Staff writer

Tan­nehill’s re­cov­ery could be 8-12 months

DAVIE — Dol­phins quar­ter­back Ryan Tan­nehill has de­cided to have sea­son-end­ing ACL surgery on his left knee and will be placed on the in­jured re­serve list, ac­cord­ing to a league source.

Tan­nehill, the five-year veteran, was in­jured while scram­bling from pres­sure dur­ing prac­tice Aug. 3.

The Dol­phins lured quar­ter­back Jay Cut­ler out of re­tire­ment and signed him to a re­ported one-year, $10 mil­lion deal Mon­day.

Cut­ler will be the starter while Matt Moore re­tains backup du­ties.

Tan­nehill orig­i­nally in­jured his knee last sea­son against Ari­zona, sprain­ing his an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment (ACL) and me­dial col­lat­eral lig­a­ment (MCL) when Calais Camp­bell hit him, caus­ing him to miss the fi­nal three reg­u­lar-sea­son games as well as the wild-card game at Pitts­burgh.

Tan­nehill and the Dol­phins elected re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and stem-cell treat­ment in­stead of surgery. Tan­nehill went through the en­tire off­sea­son pro­gram — OTAs (or­ga­nized team ac­tiv­i­ties) and mini-camp — and the first few days of train­ing camp without a prob­lem.

Tan­nehill wore a brace on his left knee through­out off­sea­son work­outs and dur­ing train­ing camp, and was plan­ning to wear it all through the 2017 sea­son.

In fact, Tan­nehill was jok­ingly abrupt with re­porters who ques­tioned the sta­bil­ity of the knee dur­ing train­ing camp, declar­ing the knee was fine and there was no need to ask fur­ther ques­tions.

It’s un­clear how long it will take Tan-

ne­hill to be de­clared healthy again but de­pend­ing on the sever­ity of the in­jury it could range from eight to 12 months, which could make Tan­nehill, 29, avail­able for the 2018 sea­son.

This is the first ma­jor surgery for Tan­nehill’s, and it comes at a time when it seemed he was poised to have the best sea­son of his ca­reer. Tan­nehill threw 19 touch­downs and 12 in­ter­cep­tions last sea­son while amass­ing a ca­reer-best 93.5 passer rating in his first sea­son un­der coach Adam Gase.

Tan­nehill showed signs of im­prove­ment in de­ci­sion-mak­ing, foot­work and ac­cu­racy in the off­sea­son. Last sea­son, Gase showed the most con­fi­dence in Tan­nehill of any pre­vi­ous coach or offensive co­or­di­na­tor by giv­ing him au­di­ble pow­ers at the line of scrim­mage.

On top of that, it was be­lieved the Dol­phins had com­piled their most im­pres­sive ar­ray of offensive tal­ent in Tan­nehill’s ca­reer among run­ning back Jay Ajayi, wide re­ceivers Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills, and tight end Julius Thomas.

Tan­nehill sus­tained his re­cent in­jury scram­bling to his right to avoid a pass rush dur­ing an 11 on 11 drill. He ap­peared to step awk­wardly when his left knee buck­led. Tan­nehill stayed on the ground as team train­ers ex­am­ined his knee. He then walked to the train­ing room, un­der his own power, ac­com­pa­nied by team per­son­nel and hasn’t re­turned to ac­tion since although he’s been a fairly reg­u­lar visitor to prac­tices in the last few days.

The Dol­phins have had a rash of in­juries dur­ing train­ing camp, los­ing rookie mid­dle line­backer Raek­won McMil­lan for the sea­son to an ACL in­jury in Thurs­day’s 23-20 pre­sea­son vic­tory over At­lanta, left guard Ted Larsen to a bi­ceps in­jury, and Ajayi to a con­cus­sion.

Ajayi, who re­mains in con­cus­sion pro­to­col, could re­turn soon. He par­tic­i­pated in lim­ited prac­tice drills last week but still hasn’t been cleared for con­tact. Larsen could be placed on in­jured re­serve with the des­ig­na­tion to re­turn, which could put him back on the field eight weeks af­ter the sea­son starts.

AP/FILE

Dol­phins quar­ter­back Ryan Tan­nehill orig­i­nally in­jured the ACL in his left knee on Dec. 11 against the Ari­zona Cardinals.

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