Mystery knee surgery is infinitely worse than both mystery ice cream, and picking out a mystery chocolate from a box of chocolates without looking at the chart.
But alas, that’s the fate dealt to Dolphins quarterback David Garrard. One man’s loss could lead to a gain by many men, as with Garrard down Ryan Tannehill now has a chance to grab the starting QB job in Miami with his performance throughout the rest of the preseason, and if he’s successful we’ll get more shameless in-game shots of his wife Lauren.
Everybody wins, except probably the Dolphins.
In a case that may be best suited for the Hardy Boys, Garrard — who was having a good training camp and was slotted atop the Dolphins’ QB depth chart — recently had knee surgery, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. Jensen doesn’t specify the nature of the injury, likely because his personal deep throat (I know, this is usually a PG 13 blog) didn’t tell him. It’s major enough, though, as Jensen’s only definition for “recently” is that the surgery was so recent that it will likely mean Garrard won’t be able to play in Miami’s regular-season opener against Houston, which takes place exactly 29 days, 17 hours, and 52 minutes from the moment this sentence was written.
However, there’s some conflicting reports, as Jensen is saying that Garrard’s knee was already carved up by a knife, while Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald talked to Garrad, and although the QB confirmed he’s injured, he then said that he won’t necessarily have surgery right away and he’s currently in a “wait and see position”.
Not to discredit Jensen, but upon further review I’ll side with Salguero’s sources on the matter of surgery and whether or not it’s taken place. That’s because his source is, um, Garrard, and he would know.
Regardless, Garrard’s knee is definitely injured, and it’s sounding like surgery is a strong possibility and he’ll be out a while. Whether that absence means missed regular season time remains to be seen, but a training camp hiatus of any length leaves the QB competition in South Beach to Tannehill and Matt Moore.
If Moore wins the battle, then Garrard still has an opportunity to start when he’s healthy since his primary function was to be a bridge to Tannehill anyway. But if Tannehill wins and is successful as the starter, Garrard could firmly be planted on the bench, even if he’s ready to go and healthy by Week 2.
Tannehill’s success would mean that the future has already arrived in Miami, making the bridge to said future already unnecessary and obsolete. This opinion may change in a matter of hours when Tannehill makes his preseason debut against Tampa Bay, but we’re still maintaining that he shouldn’t start right away. This is a quarterback who was a reach at eighth overall, and back in April many teams had him slotted as a late first-round pick at best.
Moore had 2,497 passing yards and 16 touchdowns with nine interceptions over just 12 starts last year. He has more experience, and mentally is far better prepared for the psychological bruising any Dolphins quarterback is about to take due to the severe lack of receiving weapons at their disposal.
Let Tannehill sit, watch, and learn. There’s a quarterback not too far up the road in Jacksonville who can tell him what it’s like to be rushed into a poor situation, and then crushed when you’re not prepared. The NFL doesn’t need more Blaine Gabberts. One is plenty.
UPDATE: The mystery has been solved. Jay Glazer also spoke to Garrard, and he told the best body builder among the football media that he’s having his knee scoped tomorrow, and he’ll be out two-to-four weeks. He also told Glazer that the injury isn’t anything specific, and is instead just a product of the wear and tear caused by the worst father figure anyone has ever had, father time. In the NFL, 34 is the new 87.
“They have to take out loose things floating around,” Garrard said. Yep, sounds healthy.