Barry Jackson

Here’s how Ryan Tannehill’s ankle is feeling and his post-miracle reflections

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill speaks about the importance of Ted Larsen’s block during the Miami Miracle play.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill speaks about the importance of Ted Larsen's block during the Miami Miracle play.
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Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill speaks about the importance of Ted Larsen's block during the Miami Miracle play.

Ryan Tannehill was encouraged on multiple fronts Wednesday: about how his injured ankle is healing, about how he’s playing and about the Dolphins playing meaningful games in December.

Dolphins coach Adam Gase said Wednesday he was “shocked” Tannehill returned to the game after missing two plays of Sunday’s Patriots game because of the ankle injury.

He was limited in practice Wednesday, but Gase said he will play Sunday at Minnesota “as long as we don’t have any weird setback.”

Tannehill said he’s “encouraged by how it feels. It’s gotten better every day. Moving around at practice, some of the swelling has worked out of it.”

Tannehill, who has risen to sixth in the NFL in passer rating at a career-high 105.7, said: “I think I’m playing solid football. I have room for improvement and want to keep pushing myself to keep getting better. Where I’m at in my career, I feel I should be playing my best football.”

During his regular midweek news conference, Tannehill addressed other issues:

He reflected on the miracle play to win the Patriots game, saying he fell to the field feeling a mix of emotions and didn’t join teammates initially in the end zone because his ankle “was still hurt. Didn’t want to be bumped around in that melee. I kind of collapsed.”

What stood out on that final play, beyond Kenyan Drake’s run, was “probably Ted [Larsen] being down the field and making the block.”

Tannehill confirmed he went to Regenexx’s facility in Grand Cayman for stem cell treatment in 2017, after his 2016 knee injury, and also considered it for his October shoulder injury before determining it was “not the right fit for the right time. We did do some other alternate treatments.”

He said he went to the facility because “in the U.S., you’re not able to grow the cells. In the Caymans, you are. They have the ability to take it from three million to 300 million cells. You have a lot more cells you can use in one aspiration, can use it in multiple treatments.”

He said he’s not trying to prove his toughness when he returns to the game with an injury, such as the ankle issue Sunday.

“I love competing, love being out there with my guys. It’s not about proving a point or anything like that.”

THIS AND THAT

Drake hasn’t retrieved the ball he threw into the end zone after his touchdown on Sunday but didn’t want to discuss it.

According to a Bahamian Press report, a man who caught the ball solid it for $500 to a group that, according to a CBS report, are seeking considerably more than that, perhaps as much as $250,000.

“I hope it doesn’t come down to any more miracles because I don’t think my heart can take any more of that,” Drake said. “We’ll continue to stay grounded and win games against quality opponents.”

Drake, who was fined a few times for tardiness in his rookie season, said he has matured .

“Everybody has to grow up some day,” he said. “I made mistakes as a kid. I’m only 24, so I’m going to continue to become the man I want to be. Things that I’ve learned, I try not to make the same mistakes twice. I think that’s how anybody tries to mature as a man.”

Cornerback Xavien Howard, a week removed from knee surgery, didn’t practice Wednesday and it seems doubtful he would be able to play Sunday, though Gase didn’t rule it out.

Dr. David Chao, the former Chargers team physician, has not examined Howard, but said that a player who undergoes that procedure would be unlikely to play this week, but could return for the Jaguars game with his most likely return date before the finale against the Bills.

Center/guard Jake Brendel was placed on injured reserve after re-injuring a calf injury that sidelined him for the first eight games. Miami signed guard/center Hroniss Grasu, who was a Bears third-round pick out of Oregon in 2015 has appeared in 17 NFL games, with Chicago and Baltimore.

DeVante Parker, who made the second lateral on Miami’s winning touchdown, said he has watched the play five times and “being part of history is neat.”

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