Adam Gase says Ryan Tannehill’s knee injury isn’t nearly as bad as expected

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The Miami Dolphins won a bittersweet game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, moving to 8-5 on the year but losing quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a knee injury in the process. Tannehill left the game in the third quarter and was seen in tears on the sideline, receiving hugs from his teammates. Coach Adam Gase said after the game that the team feared it was a torn ACL, but Miami got some great news on Monday.

Gase said at his press conference that Tannehill’s injury is an ACL and MCL sprain. It’s still a serious ailment, but it doesn’t have the lengthy recovery process that comes with a torn ACL.

There’s still no timetable for his return, and it’s unclear whether he’ll play again this season, but the Dolphins dodged a major bullet. Not only is the ligament intact and not torn, but he doesn’t need surgery, according to Gase.

Tannehill was injured on a hit by Calais Campbell while he was stepping into a pass. It wasn’t a dirty play considering the circumstances, but it was a hit that unfortunately resulted in an injury.

Again, it’s not clear if whether can return this season for a team chasing a playoff spot, but the fact that he’ll likely be able to participate in offseason activities and be ready for the start of 2017 is crucial in its own right.