The Miami Dolphins are expected to start rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill tonight in their second preseason game at Carolina.
Tannehill went 14-21 for 167 yards and a touchdown playing almost exclusively with backups in the preseason opener. That performance, in addition to his play in practice, has earned him the shot tonight to play with the first string. If he plays well, it’d be hard to imagine the Dolphins looking back.
What is odd about the way this has played out, is that David Garrard was running ahead of both Tannehill, and incumbent Matt Moore, during training camp. And then, almost out of nowhere, Garrard was scratched from the starting lineup a week ago, and underwent a minor knee surgery to clean things up a bit. Now, the Palm Beach Post  is predicting Garrard won’t even make the roster!
Garrard will be owed $2.25 million if he is on the roster for week one. So in almost a blink of an eye, he could go from starter to waivers. Well, geez, that would be two years in a row for Garrard!
So the future either starts tonight, or is delayed because it isn’t ready for the present. Barring Tannehill bombing tonight, you’d think he’d do no worse than getting another shot to shine in week 3 of the preseason. If he plays well though, I can’t imagine Miami holding him back.
I wrote that Miami might be better than people thought this year  a couple weeks ago. Throw that out the window if they start Tannehill. While it might be better for his development and the future of the team, it will likely result in an extra 2-3 losses this year, all but ruining Miami’s playoff hopes.
Unusual to say a lot is riding on a preseason game, but the fate of this season, Ryan Tannehill, David Garrard, possibly Matt Moore, and even bigger picture the future of the Phins and coach Joe Philbin will be on the line tonight.