DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - With Ryan Tannehill throwing again, Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase is not about to give up on the season.
Tannehill has taken an encouraging step in his recovery from a shoulder injury. It’s undetermined whether he’ll play this week against the New York Jets , but Gase believes the best is yet to come for the Dolphins (4-4), even though they’ve lost three of their past four games.
“Now it’s about who wins the second half of the season,” Gase said Monday.
Because he believes the Dolphins remain in the playoff mix, Gase said it’s “highly unlikely” they’ll be sellers at this week’s NFL trade deadline. There has been speculation they’re shopping DeVante Parker, but Gase said he expects the injury-prone receiver to remain with Miami.
As for Tannehill, progress is coming slowly. He has missed the past three games, including Thursday’s 42-23 loss at Houston.
“He’s making steps where he’s in a position where he can throw a football,” Gase said. “We’re gaining strength in that area. We’ll see more the next two days, when he does get a chance to throw, how sore he is the next day or how much power he feels like he has.”
Tannehill is expected to take part in the Dolphins’ next practice Wednesday but may be limited, as was the case last week. If Tannehill is ruled out against the Jets, Brock Osweiler will make his fourth consecutive start.
Tannehill has a reputation for playing through pain, and Gase acknowledged a concern his quarterback won’t be candid about how his shoulder feels.
“I told him, ‘You have to be honest with me,’” Gase said.” He understands if he gives me wrong information, that can make it worse. It’s killing him, because he wants to do anything he can to help us. But at the same time we have to be smart. I don’t want this to turn into, we try one week and get a huge setback, and it’s worse than it was before.”
The Dolphins have lost their past two games with Osweiler starting, but defense was the primary culprit.
“We’ve got some things to fix,” Gase said. “It hasn’t really gone as we thought. We’ve got to make sure we get a lot of things corrected, make some adjustments, make sure we have the right guys on the field.”
A long weekend off gave the injury-plagued Dolphins time to mend. Along with Tannehill, receiver Kenny Stills (groin), tight end A.J. Derby (foot) and defensive end Charles Harris (calf) might return this week.
“I like where we’re at right now,” Gase said. “I like this group. I’d like to stay healthy from here on out - I don’t think we have much more room for losing guys for the year. I think we’ve maxed out on that. But for the most part, I feel we have the right guys.”
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