What David Garrard's Knee Surgery Means for Miami Dolphins Quarterback Race

Erik FrenzSenior Writer IAugust 10, 2012

Aug. 4, 2012;  Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback David Garrard (9) throws during a scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The depth chart is in place for a reason.

David Garrard was the Miami Dolphins' No. 1 quarterback. Matt Moore was listed as No. 2. Ryan Tannehill was No. 3.

That shouldn't change with the news from ESPN that Garrard will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery and that there's "no projection" for recovery (except to reflect Garrard's injury).

That is to say, Moore should be No. 1, and Tannehill should be No. 2. If and when Garrard is ready to play, they can reassess the situation.

If Tannehill was the backup, they would have reflected that on the depth chart.

If they didn't, they should have, because now they'll look reactionary if they suddenly throw Tannehill in as the team's starting quarterback.

Of course, we all know this is an organic situation. It is just a preseason depth chart after all.

"I want you guys to know, that in no way is this competition over," head coach Joe Philbin said to the four quarterbacks on the series premiere of Hard Knocks. "This is a reflection of what's gone on up to this point in training camp. Our minds are not made up at all."

What kind of message would it send to the team as a whole if the injury was the catalyst for a dramatic shake-up in the lineup?

That being said, as Philbin points out, this thing is far from over. Tannehill has begun to earn first-team reps in practice, and the coaching staff has made sure to point out that he's earned those snaps. Moore played some first-team snaps to open camp as well.

But up to this point, we've only seen then in practice settings. It's game time.

As I write, the Dolphins have yet to play their first snap in the preseason. That leaves Tannehill four preseason games and nearly a month's worth of practices to give the Dolphins a reason to start him.

However, the Dolphins should do as they've done thus far in camp and continue to let the situation play itself out.


Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates.