You want to second-guess Ryan Tannehill and his doctor, the Miami Dolphins and their doctor, and everyone who agreed the best way to address a torn anterior cruciate ligament was not to have surgery like everyone else in the sane sports world?
You have a fair case to make, even if you’re coming to the issue as a second-guesser. Last year, when we all heard Tannehill was going to forgo surgery on his partially torn ACL, it raised plenty of eyebrows.
On first glance.
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But here’s the thing: If you want to be in the group questioning the decision because Tannehill on Thursday went down in a heap after he apparently hyperextended that same left knee, then you must believe yourself more of an expert than the actual experts.
Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins consulted the experts in making the decision to avoid surgery. Respected team surgeon John Uribe and renown specialist James Andrews told Tannehill and the Dolphins that embarking on a workout and rehab regimen that lasted two months and included stem cell treatments would bring the player’s knee back just as good as surgery.
And avoiding that surgery provided the added benefit of not ruining the 2017 Dolphins season before it even began.
Consider that if Tannehill had opted for surgery last December or January, he would not have been on the field for Thursday’s practice. He would have been inside the team’s building rehabilitating. Still rehabilitating.
A surgically repaired Tannehill wouldn’t be playing for his team until around Thanksgiving, which would probably be too late to mount a chase of the New England Patriots, assuming one could be mounted at all.
So the Dolphins took a gamble, sure. But it was a worthwhile one.
I’m told Tannehill’s new injury is hard to gauge right now because the MRI was inconclusive. And although the Dolphins are hopeful Tannehill won’t be lost to them based on this injury, that is not certain. The team’s braintrust actually met for a significant amount of time Thursday afternoon to figure out what to do.
And a final decision has not been made.
But what if Tannehill escapes this incident as he did last year’s? What if he can continue, albeit after a rest to recover from the current injury?
You going to continue second-guessing the experts then?
The sports world is full of arm-chair quarterbacks, arm-chair coaches, even arm-chair general managers.
Some folks are no doubt advocating the Dolphins move forward immediately to putting Tannehill under the scalpel and signing free agent Colin Kaepernick.
So sign the captain of chaos?
The face of a movement that turned off tons of NFL fans last year?
The Fidel Castro sympathizer?
Only someone who is tone deaf or bankrupt of wisdom could think giving police officers, the military, Cuban-American exiles and other folks who respect the flag a raised middle finger is a great idea. I hope the Dolphins don’t believe that.
This Dolphins season is going to turn on the fate and the play of one and perhaps two quarterbacks and neither of those is named Kaepernick.
The Dolphins will either learn in the next couple of days that Tannehill can continue and everyone can then exhale; or the team will find out Tannehill is going to miss considerable time and perhaps even need surgery, in which case Matt Moore inherits the locker room.
No third quarterback is going to ride to the rescue. If the Dolphins are playing a third quarterback this season, trust me, this team will be competing for a very high draft pick next spring.
So pray for Tannehill and the right answer from that inconclusive MRI, if you’re of the mind. Trust Moore can be a capable replacement if Tannehill goes out.
But spend breath second-guessing a surgery that never was or advocating for a free agent quarterback to come to the rescue?
Don’t waste your time.
Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero