Allen Park — The Miami Dolphins made the Detroit Lions' week of preparation a little easier Wednesday, ruling out quarterback Ryan Tannehill and making Brock Osweiler the definitive starter for Sunday's matchup.
The Lions had been preparing for the possibility of either quarterback during the team's Wednesday practice, with backup quarterback Matt Cassel and practice squader Jake Rudock each simulating one of the Dolphins' options.
"Osweiler will try to extend the plays to throw it," Lions coach Matt Patricia said. "There’s a little bit of a difference when they move left or right, depending on which guy is in the game. So, there are little things like that that you have to take note of when they’re in there that’s important."
Tannehill, who missed the 2017 season with a torn ACL, suffered a shoulder injury in the Dolphins' Week 3 win over the Raiders. That was re-aggravated Week 5 against the Bengals and, as coach Adam Gase explained during a conference call with Detroit media members, got progressively worse during the practice week.
The Dolphins rank toward the bottom of the league in sacks, but Lions coach Matt Patricia said the team makes life uncomfortable for quarterbacks. The Detroit News
"Tried to throw on Sunday, and it just didn't work out like we thought," Gase said. "He went back and had some more evaluations and saw some other doctors. Right now, we think this is the best thing to do for this week, and then we'll re-evaluate it at the end of the week."
Multiple sources have reported the NFL intends to investigate how Tannehill's injury was reported last week.
The Dolphins ultimately ruled out Tannehill shortly before kickoff last Sunday, turning to Osweiler, who completed 28 of his 44 passes for 380 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in a come-from-behind win over the Chicago Bears.
"I thought Brock did a good job," Gase said. "He ran the offense, he executed the calls the right way, and when things didn't go exactly right, he did a good job of finding a way to get into one of our skill guy's hands, or threw the ball away."
Patricia's defenses have historically fared well against Osweiler, going 3-1 in games where he's started. The quarterback is completing just 56.4 percent of his throws with a 63.1 passer rating in those contests, which included a playoff meeting in 2016.