Tannehill, who missed the last five games with a capsule injury in his right shoulder, threw the ball in practice for the first time since Week 6 on Tuesday. He completed 25- to 30-yard passes to receivers running a variety of routes with no apparent sign of discomfort or injury on Tuesday.
“He was ready to go. He’s been waiting for this week to come for a while,” Gase said. “The whole thing was making sure he stayed patient and with the program we had on. Instead of if things didn’t go right leading up to this game and we had to take another week, he had to understand that’s what it was. But that wasn’t the case. We had a good week last week and (Tuesday) was a good start for us with him practicing the whole practice.”
Gase told Tannehill and Brock Osweiler of his decision Monday night. He said Tannehill was “juiced up” on Monday. Gase’s decision was confirmed after watching him complete an entire practice on Tuesday.
“I thought he looked good,” Gase said. “It’s always going to take time. It’s a little different receiving corps that was out there today than when he left.”
Tannehill, who was injured Week 5 in the Dolphins loss to the Bengals, is still spending significant time with trainers before and after practice to maximize his effectiveness on Sunday. The Dolphins, who haven’t scored an offensive touchdown since Oct. 25, believe Tannehill’s return will help lift their offense. He went 3-2 as the Dolphins starter. Osweiler went 2-3 as a starter replacing Tannehill.
Miami is 5-5, currently tied for the AFC’s No. 6 playoff spot with five other teams. One of those teams is Indianapolis, their opponent on Sunday.
There’s no guarantee that Tannehill won’t have a setback, and Tannehill indicated last week that he believed he would have to play through pain for the rest of the season. Gase said Tannehill hasn’t told him about pain this week, and his recovery this week has been positive. Gase told Osweiler to stay ready to go just in case.
Gase said Monday that Tannehill has increased his throwing program to passes up to 50 yards with trainers and he’s able to make awkward throws and throws on the move.