There may have been more fanfare surrounding Andrew Luck‘s return to game action for the Colts, but he wasn’t the only quarterback making a return from a long stay on the injured list on Thursday night.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was out even longer than Luck thanks to knee problems that cost him the final weeks of the 2016 season and all of last year. Tannehill started against the Buccaneers on Thursday night and went 4-of-6 for 32 yards on one series before leaving the game.
Tannehill credited his offensive line with keeping him from being touched in a brief appearance that meant a lot to him given the path it took to get there.
“It was huge,” Tannehill said, via the Miami Herald. “I think probably more appreciation than I normally have for a preseason 1 game. I didn’t make it to this point last year. It was a long rehab process, and everything it took to get back to this point. I think more appreciation for every second that I was out there and just enjoyed it a little more. It was kind of constant. I was just soaking it all up, soaking up every moment that I could. Enjoying it. I knew what it was like not to be out there and have to struggle through missing a whole year. Definitely didn’t take any moment for granted.”
Tannehill will likely get a longer run with the offense next Friday against the Panthers as the Dolphins continue their preparation for the year to come.