Ryan Tannehill Can't Afford to Lose Another Game If He Wants to Return Next Season

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Photo by George Martinez
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. - PHOTO BY GEORGE MARTINEZ
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Photo by George Martinez
Ryan Tannehill is back behind center for the Miami Dolphins this Sunday after a five-game absence due to multiple shoulder issues. He returns just in time for a pivotal game against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, who are also 5-5 and tied for the final Wild Card spot in the AFC. In any regular season that would be great news, but this season, Dolphins fans seem less than excited to get Tannehill back.

In fact, it seems everyone agrees Tannehill will spend his final days with the Dolphins in the last six games of the season. If the quarterback is to return to Miami next season, it truly seems he must run the table — no more losses. Because the next Dolphins loss this season, especially if it comes this week, means they'll likely miss the playoffs. If that happens, you can bet he is a goner.

An 11-5 season and a hot streak seem like the only thing that can save Tannehill. Otherwise, this is it. Starting this Sunday in Indy, he is playing out the final six games of his Dolphins career. He's done. The sample size on his career is more than enough to make a decision.

Tannehill has had his share of injuries throughout his career in Miami. Most quarterbacks would have a bit of a cushion after returning from the sort of injury he's had recently. However, his isn't any old quarterback. Tannehill has been in Miami since 2012. He's seen hundreds of teammates come and go. He's had three different coaches and double-digit quarterback coaches and offensive coordinators.

To be blunt, Ryan Tannehill has had his chances; his excuses are up. He must jump back in and win the next six games for Miami or the Dolphins must move on from him.

Even if Miami runs the table, finishes 11-5, and wins a Wild Card game in the playoffs, they must draft a young quarterback to groom. But if that scenario doesn't play out, the Dolphins need to think about bringing in a player like Teddy Bridgewater or Tyrod Taylor as a placeholder.

Time is up for Ryan Tannehill in a Miami Dolphins uniform. He's had his mulligans. He's had his chances. Either run the table and win the rest of the games this season or enjoy the free-agency market and find a team that is looking for a quarterback that can be best described as a rich man's Blake Bortles.

It's time to put up or shut up, Tannehill. Your playoffs start now. You career as a Dolphins QB is officially in sudden-death mode. Good luck, but Dolphins fans aren't very hopeful.
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.
Contact: Ryan Yousefi