Dolphins coach Adam Gase said Friday that the team is trying to determine how to handle Ryan Tannehill’s injured left knee and confirmed that surgery is an option under consideration.
“Everything is on the table right now,” Gase said.
“We are going to talk to a lot of people. We’re still getting, I wouldn’t say second and third [opinions]. We’re probably going deeper than that, talking to a lot of people, making sure we’re getting all the right information, and then we’ll make a decision after that.”
Gase said there’s no timetable for making that decision.
Regardless of whether Tannehill opts for season-ending surgery or not, he will miss “significant” time with his left knee injury, according to league sources.
If the Dolphins and Tannehill opt for rest and rehab instead of surgery, he likely would miss at least six weeks and potentially two months or longer.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins have begun reaching out to veteran quarterbacks, including Jay Cutler, who retired and joined Fox Sports this summer but would be receptive to overtures from the Dolphins.
Gase and Cutler have spoken in the past two days, and Cutler has emerged as a possibility. Gase coached Cutler as the Bears’ offensive coordinator in 2015.
Asked if Matt Moore will be the quarterback if Tannehill can’t play, Gase said: “Right now, Matt is our quarterback. We’ll see where we go from there. I’ve got to see what’s going on with Ryan. We’ll make decisions after that.”
The Dolphins have contacted several quarterbacks as they look for a player to supplement Moore, Brandon Doughty and David Fales.
Among available free agent quarterbacks: Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, Christian Ponder, Shaun Hill, Johnny Manziel, Thaddeus Lewis, Zach Mettenberger, Charlie Whitehurst, Sean Renfree and Aaron Murray.
But Gase said Friday that he hasn’t “really got there yet” about adding another quarterback.
“[Thursday] was a tough day,” Gase said. “Been kind of going through that, kind of seeing how hard [Tannehill] worked to be back out there and go through the spring — a lot of the things he did to make sure everything was good. He felt great. It caught him off guard a little bit. Seeing him like that was tough.”
Moore said he’s not concerned about Miami bringing in someone to challenge him: “I’m focused on training camp, not really thinking about that. I’m focused on myself and the guys who are here right now.”
Tannehill, who sustained the non-contact injury while running out of bounds during a team drill on Thursday, watched Friday’s practice from the team cafeteria, with his leg elevated.
Moore said he spoke to Tannehill and “he’s obviously waiting, like we all are. Nobody knows what’s going on. He seems to be in good spirits. He was here watching tape [Thursday] with us and hanging out. So it was good.”
He said Tannehill’s injury “stinks. It’s hard. As a buddy, teammate, you never want to see that happen. That’s part of my role. I’ve done this before.”
The Dolphins and Tannehill will consult several doctors, including renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews and prominent South Florida-based surgeon John Uribe. But the team and Tannehill do not feel any pressure to make a quick decision.
After Tannehill sustained a partially torn ACL and MCL in that same left knee last December, Tannehill — after consulting with doctors — underwent stem cell treatment but decided it was worth the risk to eschew surgery that would have caused him to miss much of this coming season.
Former San Diego Chargers team physician David Chao, opining in two columns for the San Diego Union-Tribune, said the decision not to undergo surgery early this season shouldn’t necessarily be second-guessed but that surgery is the best option now.
“The knee has proven to be unstable,” Chao wrote. “Nine times out of 10, partial ACL ends up unstable and needing surgery. The hope with Tannehill was that he was the exception. … It can be stated with a great degree of certainty that the Dolphins and Tannehill have little choice but to proceed with ACL reconstructive surgery.
“Often, it is good to attempt a non-surgical conservative treatment. But this approach has been tried with Tannehill. He has had eight months of rest and rehabilitation. Even stem cells have been used. He was using an ACL brace.”
Chao went on to say that “it is doubtful an additional six to eight weeks of rest/rehab is going to change anything, and there must be concern about how he will stand up to the rigors of a full NFL season. The risk without surgery isn’t just that the knee will give way again during practice or a game.
“The worry is when the knee does buckle again, it could cause more permanent articular cartilage damage, which we don’t have great solutions for.”
But the Dolphins and Tannehill, as of Friday morning, had not decided whether to pursue surgery or rest and rehab.
Either way, Tannehill will be out for an extended period of time.
Here’s my post today with lots of personnel news and notes from defensive coordinator Matt Burke, who spoke for the first time in training camp on Friday.