DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Back from a season-ending knee injury, Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill says he has healed and feels “totally normal,” allowing him to take part in offseason workouts now underway.
Tannehill missed last season’s final four games, including a playoff loss at Pittsburgh, after spraining the ACL and MCL in his left knee. After surgery was ruled out, Tannehill rehabilitated the partially torn ligaments and underwent stem cell treatments.
Speaking publicly Thursday for the first time since the season ended, Tannehill said he has no remaining hurdles in his recovery, and pronounced his knee healed.
“Yes, it’s really strong and ready to go,” he said. “I’m feeling good. I’m feeling back to 100 percent. Everything feels totally normal, and I’m excited to keep pushing to get better.”
The Dolphins held their first organized team activities of the offseason this week, and Tannehill took part without restrictions. He said his knee started to feel good at the end of January.
“I was rehabbing it hard every day, a few hours every day,” he said. “I really got comfortable with my rehab and kept pushing and pushing and pushing. It finally got to the point where I’m comfortable with it. I feel like I can make any cut, and I trust it. That’s the biggest thing — do you trust it? Are you able to move without thinking about, ‘Is something going to happen?’ Once it got to that point, I really felt great about it.”
Teammates and coach Adam Gase said Tannehill didn’t seem to favor the knee this week.
“I thought he looked the same as the last time I saw him playing,” Gase said. “It was a good week for him. He looks good.”
Tannehill wore a knee brace in practice and plans to use it this season for protection. He wore one in college and said it doesn’t hamper his mobility.
“That’s one thing that I’m excited about,” he said. “I guess the brace technology, the fitting is a little better. There’s an extra strap on there that I think that wasn’t on there on my previous brace, and that kind of holds it in place and allows you to keep the mobility.”
Tannehill likely won’t get hit until the exhibition season in August, because he’s off limits for contact in team drills. Defensive end Andre Branch said Gase is quick to speak up if a defensive player fails to give the quarterback plenty of space — which happened Wednesday.
“We touched him a little bit,” Branch said with a smile. “But it won’t happen again. That’s our quarterback, so we can’t get close.”
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