Don't cancel Brocktober quite yet.
On Wednesday, three days after Brock Osweiler helped the Dolphins beat the Bears in overtime, the Dolphins ruled out starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill for their Week 7 matchup against the Lions. And that means Osweiler will make another start in place of Tannehill.
Ryan Tannehill is OUT this week, per Adam Gase.— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) October 17, 2018
"He just can't throw," Dolphins coach Adam Gase said, per ESPN's Cameron Wolfe.
That's a brutal blow for a team that's still very much in the thick of the playoff race at 4-2, which has them tied atop the AFC East with the Patriots. Osweiler's numbers against the Bears were splendid, but anyone watching the game knows that most of his yardage came on short dump offs that his receivers turned into huge gains. He finished with 380 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 94.9 passer rating against a Bears defense that is still ranked first in DVOA entering Week 7. By Osweiler's standards, that's an all-time performance.
But the Dolphins shouldn't expect Osweiler to keep putting up those kinds of numbers. His career passer rating, in 44 appearances and 26 starts, is 77.7. He's nothing more than a backup quarterback. The Dolphins, if they're going to turn this 4-2 start into a playoff berth, need Tannehill back. With Tannehill, Gase's record with the Dolphins is 11-7. Without Tannehill, Gase's record is 9-11.
The thing is, we have no idea when Tannehill will return, because this entire injury situation has been murky. Tannehill is dealing with a shoulder injury, but the severity is completely unknown. After the win over the Bears, Gase refused to provide an clarity to the situation.
"I don't know, I think there's some kind of HIPAA law or something like that," Gase told reporters, per NFL.com. "I can't talk about ... I don't know, I don't sit there and ask him all these questions. I just know that the guy couldn't go today. All right, go ask him. I'm tired of answering these questions."
For now, all we know is that Tannehill's injury will rob him of two games -- and maybe more. After playing the Lions, the Dolphins will play the Texans (away), Jets (home), and Packers (away) before their bye week. That game against the Texans is on Thursday night, which won't give Tannehill another full week to get healthy. It seems more than likely that Brocktober might actually last until November.
With Tannehill, the Dolphins could very well win three of their next four games. Without him, they're probably going to struggle to beat most teams.
It's not all bad for the Dolphins, though.
I will be taking over the field during halftime at the @MiamiDolphins against the @Lions game this Sunday! pic.twitter.com/a7QeYCatly— FLO RIDA (@official_flo) October 17, 2018