DAVIE – Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler was knocked out of Sunday’s game vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and promptly entered concussion protocol. As a result of his second significant injury in five weeks, Gase will have to determine which quarterback will give the Dolphins the best chance to win in Week 12 against the 7-2 New England Patriots.
In Week 11 vs. the Buccaneers, Cutler played his worst half of football since becoming a member of the Miami Dolphins. The 12-year veteran finished the contest 6 of 12 for 50 yards with 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions.
With Cutler in concussion protocol, backup quarterback Matt Moore played the entire second half and nearly brought the Dolphins back from a 20-3 deficit.
Moore completed 17 of 28 passes for 282 yards and one touchdown, but despite Cutler’s suboptimal performance coach Adam Gase is still a believer in the embattled quarterback.
“With him being in concussion protocol, I don’t know how long this will be. He’s done everything I’ve asked him to do, and there’s no reason for me to say he’s not (the starting quarterback).”
The Dolphins had greater success moving the football down the field with Moore at the helm as they accumulated 7 first downs in the first half compared to 11 in the second half with Moore at quarterback. The Dolphins also won the time of possession battle in the second half. Miami held onto the football for 17:21 of the second half compared to the Buccaneers who kept the ball for a mere 12:39 in the final two quarters.
Despite coverage, Moore trusted the receivers enough to give them chances to make plays and they rewarded him by generating three explosive plays that nearly changed the outcome of the game.
Moore has played well in relief of starting quarterbacks for the majority of his career. He knows his role and accepts that he is the Dolphins’ backup quarterback, but who will come in for Moore if he’s injured?
Dolphins’ quarterbacks haven’t been incredibly durable the last two seasons. As a result, Gase has explored the prospect of activating three quarterbacks on game day in the event something happens to Moore.
“I try not to say too much to Matt [Moore] as far as, ‘Hey be smart and don’t take any hits,’ because then that is just one more thing that he doesn’t really need to think about. It’s a tough position to be in when you get to that backup quarterback when you really don’t have anything behind him. “[Activating three quarterbacks] is always going to be a thought, but at the end of the day, we just have to figure out what’s best for that week.”