With Ryan Tannehill ruled out of Sunday’s game against Detroit, Brock Osweiler will get another start at quarterback, and the Miami Dolphins’ super sub is optimistic he can deliver a successful encore to the most prolific game of his career last week.
But then Osweiler is always optimistic, even when he’s playing lousy.
“My confidence,” he said, “will never waver.”
A journeyman already at age 27, Osweiler will start his second game in a row for the Dolphins (4-2). They announced Wednesday that Tannehill will not play against the Lions because of an injury to his throwing shoulder.
Tannehill also missed an overtime win against the Chicago Bears last Sunday, and Osweiler stepped in to throw for a career-high 380 yards and three touchdowns.
Thanks to that performance, Brocktober now comes with a hashtag on Twitter.
“It’s fun,” Osweiler said. “Keep using it.”
Brocktober is likely to continue for the rest of the month, at least. It’s doubtful Tannehill would return next week, when the Dolphins have little preparation time before a Thursday night game at Houston on Oct. 25.
“I know what Brock brings to the table,” coach Adam Gase said. “I know what his strengths are and what he likes to do. I’m real comfortable with where we’re at right now.”
Tannehill was on the field in shoulder pads during practice Wednesday, but didn’t throw because rest for the shoulder has been prescribed. Gase said Tannehill is still expected to return at some point this season.
“It’s really day to day,” Gase said. “Every week hopefully we’ll see progress.”
Tannehill’s injury has given Osweiler a chance to start for Gase for the first time. They were together for four seasons in Denver, where Gase was an assistant and Osweiler was on the bench behind Peyton Manning.
Osweiler washed out as a starter in Houston in 2016, and went 0-4 as a starter when he returned to Denver in 2017. He then signed with Miami because of the chance to reunite with Gase — and perhaps run his offense.
“It’s something I’ve been wanting for a lot of years,” Osweiler said. “I heard a lot of play calls come in through that earpiece that weren’t coming in for me. To go out last week and be the guy finally pulling the trigger, it was a very special day.”
Led by Osweiler, the Dolphins netted 541 yards against the Bears, their highest total in 30 years. Among those applauding the performance was Manning, who happened to be at the game.
“We talked before the game in the locker room,” Osweiler said. “We talked after the game as well, and Monday morning. Payton and I spent four years together in Denver. We really built a tremendous relationship. I think we have a ton of respect for each other.”
Osweiler said the primary lesson he learned from Manning was how to prepare. As a result, Osweiler was ready last week, even though he took first snaps during practice.
This week he’ll get all the reps with the first team, and he’ll have input on the game plan. Otherwise, he said, this week will be no different.
“I’ve been through some ups and downs and I’ve learned so much,” he said. “I’ve always believed in who I was. None of this has taken me by surprise, but it’s special because in this league, you never know how many opportunities you’re going to get.”
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