Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill Did Not Tear ACL, Still Likely Done For 2016

Matthew Jordan

Monday, December 12, 2016 7:09 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 12, 2016 7:09 PM UTC

The Miami Dolphins got relatively good news on starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill on Monday when an MRI revealed he did not tear his ACL as feared. But it's still unlikely that Tannehill plays again in 2016 or in the playoffs should Miami make it.

If you saw Miami's home win Sunday over Arizona, Tannehill was very emotional on the sideline after getting hurt in the third quarter. It seemed like he knew the injury was serious, and the team feared a torn ACL that obviously would have not just ended his 2016 season but also made it tough for Tannehill to even be ready for the start of 2017.

But Dolphins coach Adam Gase said Ryan Tannehill suffered ACL and MCL instead of a tear, which is great news for Tannehill's future. He will not need surgery. ESPN is reporting there's "a cautious sense of internal optimism" that Tannehill could return for the postseason. Still, that's probably not happening. Miami is 8-5 but currently on the outside of the playoffs looking in as the No. 7 team in the AFC.

Journeyman backup Matt Moore will start the rest of the regular season and he hasn't started a game in five years -- he looked decent against Arizona in relief. Miami is at the New York Jets this Saturday as a 2.5-point favorite on NFL picks. Then the Dolphins go to Buffalo and close at home against New England. It's possible the Patriots have nothing to play for in Week 17 so perhaps Miami could win that game.

The Dolphins are fighting the Denver Broncos and the second-place team in the AFC North — either the Pittsburgh Steelers or Baltimore Ravens — for the second wild-card berth. Either Oakland or Kansas City (both 10-3) figures to earn the top wild-card spot.

Moore isn't terrible and  Miami has won seven of its last eight games with just good QB and not great play from Tannehill under center. Expect the Dolphins Miami to rely even more on running back Jay Ajayi. He had just 48 yards on 20 carries against the Cardinals, though, and hasn't topped 79 yards in his past five.

The Fins are currently +4000 to win the AFC title at BetOnline NFL odds.

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