Did the Miami Dolphins sidestep a major injury on Thursday?
NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala reports there is no structural damage to Ryan Tannehill's left knee after he exited practice following a non-contact spill, per a member of the organization. Tannehill underwent an MRI after practice and his knee is as sound as it was before, per Kinkhabwala.
The knee did buckle, and the Dolphins are deciding how to proceed after the scare. Meanwhile, Tannehill is seeking a second opinion on the knee, Kinkhabwala reported, per an organizational source.
Although the MRI showed no structural damage, Tannehill and the team are concerned with why this happened. With no real explanation available, and the knee stable up until Thursday, there is concern that it could ultimately lead to a decision to repair the partially torn ACL, per Kinkhabwala. The Dolphins and Tannehill decided not to repair the existing injury during the offseason.
Tannehill could miss some time in training camp as the Dolphins take it slow with their starting quarterback. The organization is exploring other veteran options at quarterback, Kinkhabwala reported.
Video of the play showed Tannehill rolling to his right, heading up field toward the sideline. As he went out of bounds, the quarterback's left leg appeared to plant awkwardly in the turf. Tannehill then tumbled to the ground. He remained on the ground for about 15 seconds before walking gingerly to the locker room, according to reporters on the scene.
It's the same knee Tannehill suffered a partial ACL tear in last season, which forced him out for the final three games of 2016 regular season and the Dolphins' wild-card loss to Steelers. The Dolphins QB opted for stem cell treatment instead of surgery. He was wearing a knee brace on his left knee during practice.
All offseason, the Dolphins and Tannehill have insisted his knee was stable.
"Just so everyone hears, the knee is really good. It feels really good," he said just last week, via the team's official website. "I haven't had any changes since the spring. I was a full participant in the spring and still going really well. Now we don't have to address that anymore, right?"
After Thursday's tumble, Tannehill's knee will be the subject of inquiry after every hit he takes on it.
The injury scare is a reminder of the thin edge NFL teams stand on.