As noted by Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Tannehill last played on December 11, 2016 — a full Zebco-reel 606 days ago.
The streak ends tonight, when Tannehill (according to Salguero) starts the preseason opener against the Buccaneers. As one source said to Salguero regarding the prospect of Tannehill starting, “Why wouldn’t he?”
“I feel like I did before everything happened, so I feel good,” Tannehill has said, according to Salguero.
What happened was a left knee injury on a low hit from then-Cardinals defensive lineman Calais Campbell, which left Tannehill with an MCL injury and a slightly torn ACL. The team opted against reconstruction of the ACL, which doesn’t heal on its own. And then, last August 3, Tannehill tore the ACL without contact during a training-camp practice.
He’s returning with a brace on the knee.
“I wouldn’t say it limits me,” Tannehill said, according to Salguero. “It’s a bit cumbersome, but it doesn’t limit me from doing anything. I ran in the offseason with it, did all the drills with it and everything, so you get used to it and it becomes like second nature.”
The Dolphins hope it’s second nature for Tannehill to play quarterback again. He played very well in 2016, and the team quietly expected that he’d break through to the proverbial next level last year.
Fans remain skeptical about the 2012 top-10 draft pick who has yet to become what he was expected to be. This very well could be the year that it finally happens for Tannehill.