The Miami Dolphins suffered a major blow yesterday when starting QB Ryan Tannehill went down with a knee injury. Tannehill hasn’t been officially ruled out for the year yet, but he will be out a minimum six to eight weeks according to Adam Schefter. The situation is similar to what the Minnesota Vikings went through last year when Teddy Bridgewater went down with an ACL injury. In response to Bridgewater’s injury, the Vikings went out and traded for Sam Bradford. The question for Miami is how will they try to replace Tannehill?
Matt Moore is the Dolphins backup QB, and is first in line to take Tannehill’s spot. Moore started three games for the Dolphins last year, going 2-1. Moore averaged 225 yards, just 5 yards less than what Tannehill averaged on the year. Moore has started 28 games in his career, so he has the experience. Plus, he played decently last season when he filled in. Expectations for the Dolphins in 2017 are not very high. Most expect the team to be around .500 which would put them well outside of playoff contention. Maybe rolling with Moore makes sense.
Of course, many have already began saying the Dolphins should sign the controversial Colin Kaepernick. Teams appear to be cautious of signing Kaepernick because of the controversy surrounding Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem. Kaepernick took the league by storm in 2012 and 2013, but since then it has been downhill. Last year the atrocious San Francisco 49ers went just 1-11 under Kaepernick. Kaepernick has been working with some terrible talent over recent years, but his play has not been inspiring, even being yanked for Blaine Gabbert. Kaepernick’s athletic ability makes him a weird fit for many NFL offenses, but his fit in Miami isn’t terrible. Tannehill is a QB who has some mobility, and his running ability has been occasionally utilized by the Dolphins offense. If the Dolphins are unafraid about the controversy surrounding Kaepernick, he probably gives them the best chance out of anyone at having a good season.
Others have suggested that Jay Cutler might be willing to come out of retirement to play for the Dolphins. Cutler is 34, and retired from the NFL in May. Fox Sports hired Cutler as a game analyst. It is unclear if Cutler would ditch his new gig to come back for one year, especially when he just retired a few months ago.
There has also been speculation that the Dolphins may be interested in the previously mentioned Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater is still recovering for the ACL injury he suffered last training camp. He is on the physically unable to preform list, and is not expected to be ready until later in the season. The Bridgewater idea is interesting, he is from Miami after all. When considering the seriousness of Bridgewater’s own injury and the fact that he will not be ready to start the season, trading for him makes little sense for the Dolphins. Plus, there is no indication that the Vikings would be willing to part with the young QB.
The Dolphins have some options, but all of them have some drawbacks. Kaepernick probably gives the Dolphins the best chance to win this year, but no matter who is starting for the Dolphins, the New England Patriots are all but guaranteed to win the AFC East for the ninth consecutive year.