The outlook for Ryan Tannehill’s ability to play this week looks increasingly positive, but his presence on the field will not have a significant impact on the team’s ability to beat the Indianapolis Colts.
Tannehill failed to finish the game in Sunday’s win over the New York Jets after injuring his knee and thigh, and The Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero reported that an MRI the following day brought good news.
QB Ryan Tannehill MRI showed no structural damage but he has bone bruise on knee and deep thigh bruise, according to Herald's Barry Jackson,— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) October 29, 2012
Philbin said Tannehill was limited today in practice and that all three QBs did work today— Ben Volin (@BenVolinPBP) October 31, 2012
Ryan Tannehill is taking first-team snaps during open portion of practice.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) October 31, 2012
Tannehill is the future for Miami at quarterback and he will develop faster by playing more this season. When thinking about the larger picture, the Dolphins want him on the field as often as possible.
However, considering just the upcoming game against the Colts, it makes no difference whether Tannehill or Matt Moore is under center.
The rookie out of Texas A&M has completed 59.1 percent of his passes this season and is averaging 210 yards per game through the air. He has four touchdowns and six interceptions.
In 13 games last season, Moore completed 60.5 percent of his passes and averaged 192 yards per game while throwing 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
While Tannehill has a firm hold on the starting job due to his potential, he has not performed better than Moore has in previous seasons. At this point in the season, Moore is capable of stepping in and being just as effective as Tannehill, as he proved by completing 11 of 19 attempts for 131 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions against the Jets.
What will happen when the Dolphins take on the Colts?
The quarterback and the passing game will not be the key to the game this weekend. The Dolphins will need to run the ball in order to take advantage of the Colts, who rank 27th in rushing yards allowed this season.
On the other side of the ball, the Dolphins have played extremely well and will need to continue playing well on defense and ensure that Andrew Luck struggles in this game.
The Dolphins have found success in the last three games by running the ball and playing excellent defense. The running backs have 85 rushing attempts over this stretch, while the quarterbacks have thrown the ball 79 times, and the team has not allowed more than 14 points in any of the three contests.
There is a blueprint for Miami to follow, and it does not assign a significant amount of responsibility to the quarterback. Regardless of who is under center, Miami will need a strong performance from Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas and the defense in order to beat the Colts.