The NFL game today is all about the quarterback position. If you have one, you have a chance. No quarterback translates into no chance.
That’s why when we asked out listeners and readers in last week’s Talk of Fame Network poll to identify the one summer injury that will have the greatest impact on the 2017, Miami’s loss of quarterback Ryan Tannehill was the runaway winner.
Tannehill, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice during the opening week of training camp, received 41 percent of the vote. Julian Edelman, Tom Brady’s go-to guy in New England and the NFL’s fourth-leading receiver in 2016, was next with 24 percent of the vote. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in the third preseason game.
Seattle left tackle George Fant, the blind-side protector of Russell Wilson, was next with 17 percent of the vote, and Chicago wide receiver Cameron Meredith, the best receiver on the Bears, received 10 percent of the support. Washington pass rusher Trent Murphy and Kansas City running back Spencer Ware both finished in single digits. All suffered knee injuries.
The three Talk of Fame Network hosts – Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge – greed with the poll as all voted for Tannehill.
“Quarterback is the most important position in the game,” Borges said. “Always has been and always will be. So when you lose your starter, as Miami did, anything else pales in comparison.”
Added Judge: “If you lose your quarterback you're bound to be affected. And the Dolphins are. They had to sign Jay Cutler to replace Tannehill.”
Tannehill appeared to turn the corner as quarterback of the Dolphins a year ago. The eighth overall pick of the 2012 draft, Tannehill was steering the Dolphins to their first playoff berth in eight seasons when he went down in the 14th game with a knee injury. The Dolphins were 9-5 at the time and finished 10-6 to claim an AFC wild card.
Tannehill completed a career-best 67.1 percent of his passes for 2,995 yards with 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Edelman caught 98 passes last season, and Brady leaned on him when it mattered. Edelman led the AFC with 28 third-down receptions.