Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler: “Right now it’s ‘Brocktober’’
Brocktober will last at least two weeks — and probably more.
The Dolphins have already ruled out Ryan Tannehill for this Sunday’s game against the Lions with a troublesome shoulder injury, meaning another week of Brock Osweiler puns.
And maybe a little magic, too.
Just hours after the coaches decided he would be the starter Sunday, Osweiler had a career game, throwing for 380 yards and three touchdowns in a thrilling win over the Bears — to the great surprise of many who made up their minds about him long ago based on his struggles in Denver and Houston.
“My confidence will never waver,” Osweiler said. “That’s something that’s just natural in me. That’s something that’s built over the years. Shoot, you saw it on Sunday. Sometimes you’ll throw interceptions. How do you bounce back?”
Against the Bears on Sunday, he bounced back with two long touchdown passes to Albert Wilson and a game-winning drive in overtime.
The Dolphins will need more of the same Sunday, and probably in Houston again next Thursday.
While the organization is not saying what exactly is wrong with Tannehill, former Chargers team physician David Chao believes he suffered a strain — and possibly a tear — to either his right rotator cuff or labrum.
Chao believes Tannehill will need a three-week recovery period, meaning a reasonable projection for his return is Nov. 4 against the Jets.
For the time being, Tannehill has been shut down from throwing. Gase reiterated Wednesday that he believes Tannehill will return in 2018 and has not suffered a setback since Monday, when Miami’s coach said his quarterback was “day-to-day.”
Tannehill did practice Wednesday, albeit on a very limited basis. He did not throw a pass.
“We’re working on anything that has to do with pocket movement, footwork, things like that,” Gase said. “He can do everything; he just can’t throw.”
The Dolphins later clarified that Tannehill could throw if necessary, but it’s clear that doctors believe rest is the best course of action.
That means that surgery is off the table — for now.
How effective that therapy will be remains unclear.
Chao told the Miami Herald that if Tannehill does have a slight tear to either his labrum or rotator cuff, that rest will not fix the injury but swelling can subside in time, meaning he will experience fewer symptoms.
Tannehill obviously wants to return this season after missing 20 regular-season and postseason games over the past two seasons due to knee injuries. Then there’s the matter of his future: He is owed more than $18 million in base salary in 2019 and would count $26.6 million against the Dolphins’ salary cap if he is on the team, but just half that if he is not.
Osweiler knows how tenuous the grasp is on a starting quarterback job, even for those who sign a mega contract.
Just a year after Osweiler agreed to a four-year, $72 million contract with the Texans, he was shipped out of town. After a disappointing season, Houston was so motivated to get his deal off its books that the Texans sent the Browns a second-round draft pick to get rid of it.
Osweiler ultimately ended up back in Denver in 2017, going 0-4 as a starter, completing 55.8 percent of his passes for five touchdown passes and five interceptions, and amassing a passer rating of 72.5.
Along the way, he became the butt of many mean jokes, and the prevailing narrative was he would never pan out as an NFL quarterback. There were more than a few snickers by national (and even local) reporters) on social media when he signed with the Dolphins in the offseason.
But Osweiler never doubted that he would get another shot as a starter, and with his strong game Sunday, silenced those critics — at least for a week.
“I would say that none it is surprises me,” Osweiler said. “I think, first and foremost as an athlete — and no offense to anyone in this room — but we need to put on earmuffs if you will and drown out all the outside noise. The only thing that matters is your belief in yourself and the belief that your teammates and coaches have in you. Other than that, nothing really matters.
“Throughout my entire career, I’ve always believed in who I was as a quarterback, as a person, as a leader,” he added. “None of this takes me by surprise.”
▪The NFL office intends to contact the Miami Dolphins to investigate the team’s handling of the Tannehill injury situation and how the team reported the injury on its injury reports last week, an NFL source told The Miami Herald on Wednesday.
The NFL looks into how teams report injuries — particularly to prominent players such as starting quarterbacks — when questions arise whether a team has adhered to league policy.
Miami Herald sportswriter Armando Salguero contributed to this report.