Armando Salguero

The NFL will investigate how the Dolphins handled the reporting of Tannehill’s injury

Dolphins coach Gase on Tannehill: “He just can’t throw” at this time’’

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase talks after practice at their training facility in Davie on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, in preparation for their game against the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
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Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase talks after practice at their training facility in Davie on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, in preparation for their game against the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

The NFL office intends to contact the Miami Dolphins to investigate the team’s handling of the Ryan 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.

Tannehill on Wednesday was still nursing a right (throwing) shoulder injury that kept him out of the Bears game on Sunday. Although he practiced on a limited basis, he did not throw the football at all during the portion of practice open to the media. After practice, coach Adam Gase said Tannehill was out for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions.

Brock Osweiler, who took all the first-team practice repetitions, will start against Detroit..

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase talks after practice at their training facility in Davie on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, in preparation for their game against the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

The NFL looking into the injury report matter does not not mean the Dolphins broke the rules or tried to circumvent them. But obviously the way the situation played out is curious.

The Dolphins say Tannehill was injured in the fourth quarter of the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals when he was trying to throw the ball but a defensive player grabbed or hit his arm as it was starting to torque forward.

Tannehill was unable to complete his throwing motion.

Coach Adam Gase has said Tannehill was sore on Monday and Tuesday last week but felt better by Wednesday.

Despite the injury, the team’s injury report reads he practiced full on Wednesday. That means he did everything and took every snap as if he was healthy.

Then, Gase has said, things got worse on Thursday.

“He was starting to feel better and then we went out and practiced on Wednesday and he was sore but he was fine,” Gase told reporters after the victory over the Chicago Bears. “And then Thursday kind of came around and it just kind of got progressively worse as far as his ability to really throw the ball the way he wanted to. So we kind of were just making contingency plans in case it just didn’t get any better.”

Gase went on to say Osweiler took some first-team snaps in Thursday’s practice.

The question is why the Dolphins reported Tannehill as practicing full Thursday despite the fact he didn’t take all the practice reps due to his injury.

According to the NFL rules, practicing full means the player takes all his normal reps. Practicing limited means the player took “less than 100 percent” of his normal reps.

Obviously, Tannehill took less than 100 percent of his normal reps on Thursday but the Dolphins reported him as practicing full.

Another question is why the Dolphins listed Tannehill as “questionable” on Friday when multiple national news outlets on game day reported Tannehill was actually “doubtful” to play.

The Dolphins will have to come up with answers for all this.

The team gave no such answers on Wednesday, however. The team referred all questions regarding the injury report investigation to the league office.

The NFL takes the injury reporting process seriously. It has called its policy “a cornerstone of public confidence in the NFL for many decades.”

The intent is to provide full and complete information on player availability. It is NFL policy that information for dissemination to the public on all injured players be reported in a satisfactory manner by clubs to the league office, the opposing team, local and national media, and broadcast partners each game week of the regular season and postseason (including for the two Super Bowl teams between the Championship Games and Super Bowl).

The information must be credible, accurate, timely, and specific within the guidelines of the policy, which is of paramount importance in maintaining the integrity of the game.

A violation of the policy may result in commissioner discipline, which may include a fine on the involved club, fines or suspensions of involved individuals, as well as the possible forfeiture of draft choices by the involved club.

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