MIAMI GARDENS – The Miami Dolphins took to the field at Hard Rock Stadium for their annual intrasquad scrimmage but six key members of the offense were missing. Starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill (left knee), running back Jay Ajayi (concussion), left tackle Laremy Tunsil,
(personal reasons), right tackle Ja’Wuan James, projected starting left guard Ted Larsen (biceps), Kenny Stills (hamstring) were all out of commission for Saturday’s action.
While Ajayi, Tunsil, James, Larsen and Stills did not play, Tannehill’s absence was just as conspicuous as it has been since he re-injured his left knee while scrambling out of bounds during Thursday’s practice. It is now possible that the Dolphins No. 1 signal caller could miss significant time during the 2017 season if he elects to have surgery.
Gase hoped today’s scrimmage would allow his players and coaches to get a feel for a game-day environment and it appears that the team was able to do exactly that. However, the elephant in the room was the potential of the Dolphins bringing Jay Cutler into the fold. Gase who has admittedly spoken to once since Tannehill’s injury said:
“All I asked him was if he was interested; that was it,” said Gase.
Gase spent time with Cutler in Chicago and helped the recently retired quarterback improve upon his pocket presence and touchdown-to-interception ratio. Cutler is clearly the Dolphins’ top option if Tannehill is out for a significant period of time. As for Cutler’s grasp of the offense since retiring:
“When I get there, I’ll be able to tell you,” Gase said. “But I don’t even think it’s even close to anything right now. I had one conversation with him, that’s where we’re at. Me, Mike [Tannenbaum] and Chris [Grier] haven’t spoken since last night…”
Gase also said Cutler is indeed interested in playing but is still attempting to gauge whether or not it would be in his best interest to return to the gridiron.
“He’s trying to figure out everything,” Gase said. “You don’t expect this to happen. So I don’t think he looked at our situation like, ‘oh this is going to happen.’”
As Gase mentioned on Friday, Matt Moore is the starting quarterback “right now.” Moore finished Saturday’s scrimmage 5 for 6, for 66 yards. His lone incompletion was a pick-6 to Xavien Howard who stepped in front of DeVante Parker to make the grab. Moore rebounded nicely and finished the outing with a touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry.
Judging by the team’s on-field performance the players were clearly not fazed by the rumors surrounding the quarterback position including current starting quarterback Matt Moore.
“I’m focused on myself and the guys that are here now,” Moore said. “I was just saying, ‘I’m on the day-to-day deal man. Today was a challenge, tomorrow I’m going to review it, and the next day I’m going to get better.’ And that’s where my head’s at right now.”
Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry echoed the same sentiment and expressed his confidence in Moore’s ability to keep the offense functioning at a high level.
“For us, no matter who’s the quarterback, it’s finding a way to complement each other, make plays for each other, and that’s what it’s all about. …It’s stacking each and every day together heading into the preseason and into the regular season.
“Matt’s a gunslinger man. …He’s a guy with high energy, he comes in, he commands the huddle and you see him making plays out here. So for us, so again, we have to make plays for him and we all help each other out that way.”