Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase said Wednesday the team might “run out of time this week” in trying to get quarterback Ryan Tannehill ready to play in the Wild Card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon.
Forget the “might” part. The Dolphins on Thursday morning decided they are out of time.
Tannehill, nursing a partially torn ACL and Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee, will definitely not play this week, per a league source.
The Dolphins, and specifically coach Adam Gase, never could get comfortable with Tannehill’s ability to move and protect himself in the pocket. Tannehill was so far from that ability that he never practiced this week.
Although Tannehill wanted to play and still wants to play if the Dolphins advance, he himself could never say unequivocally that he was able to do all the things Gase wanted to see from the player before letting him even practice.
The team had originally hoped Tannehill might practice as early as Wednesday. Then there were hopes it might happen Thursday.
But in on-field workout sessions for Tannehill that Gase witnessed, the quarterback never looked quite right. He still has not regained enough mobility. He still has not found the comfort level to even practice.
This does not exclude the possibility Tannehill might participate in practice next week if the Dolphins advance to play New England in the divisional playoff round.
One more thing: It is interesting that the Dolphins have opted not to play coy on this matter.
Although they are not confirming the fact Tannehill won’t play, they definitely are not denying it. And I’m told later this afternoon Gase will say Tannehill isn’t playing.
So much for showmanship that might have made the Steelers sweat — or at worst — spend some time in preparation for the possibility someone not named Matt Moore would play against them Sunday.
Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero