David Garrard's Knee Surgery Creates Difficult Situation for Miami Dolphins

Bob CunninghamSenior Analyst IAugust 10, 2012

Aug. 4, 2012;  Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback's David Garrard (left) Pat Devlin (center) and Ryan Tannehill (right) look on during a scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

According to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times, Miami Dolphins quarterback David Garrard will miss time after having knee surgery.

The surgery was at first believed to be minor, but Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com recently added to the report, confirming via an unnamed source that Garrard "will be out for a while."

This comes at a horrible time and has even worse news for the Dolphins, who, by all accounts, were planning to make Garrard their Week 1 starter. Garrard was listed as the top quarterback on the team's first official depth chart release, and everyone close to the team believed that's how it would stay.

But with the news of his knee surgery, the Dolphins will now have a choice to make over the next few preseason games.

Matt Moore, last year's starter, is still with the team and currently listed as the No. 2 quarterback behind Garrard, with the No. 8 overall pick Ryan Tannehill nipping at his heels as the third-string guy. As it sits, Moore will likely get the first chance to show why he should be the starter, at least in Garrard's absence, but a strong case can be made to start the rookie.

Moore was mildly impressive in 2011, but he is not a guy a team will build around. He's a very good backup and a great guy to have step in for a few games, but he's not really someone you want starting all 16 games.

As of now, no one really knows which circumstance the Dolphins are facing. Garrard could miss just a couple games or, depending upon the severity, which is still sketchy, he could once again miss the entire season.

If it's just a few games and the Dolphins truly believe they can contend, do they go with the more steady and known commodity of Moore, or hand the reins to their top pick for a few weeks and see what he can do?

If it's the entire season, does the coaching staff believe Moore can get them to the playoffs, or do they start the rookie and see what he has?

If I'm new head coach Joe Philbin, I think the circumstance more so than the player will determine my course of action.

If they find out Garrard will only miss the first four games or so at most, then start Moore during that time and let him win you a couple games until Garrard can come back and take over.

But if Garrard is going to miss at least half the season, there's no point in starting Moore and setting your team's ceiling at 8-8. Instead, start the rookie in which you've made such a huge investment and see what the future holds for the team.

There's still a ton of variables to this story and surely a lot of things even Philbin is still trying to figure out, so it will be interesting to see what the Dolphins do from here.

Either way, Phins fans, get ready for rough waters ahead.