Coach Adam Gase said Monday that Tannehill has increased his throwing program to passes up to 50 yards with trainers and he has progressed to making awkward throws and throws on the move. Gase said he has not decided whether Tannehill will practice Tuesday, but the team is feeling confident he will play again soon.
"He looks like I remember. It's been forever since I've [had] him throw. But to me, he looks like he once looked like," said Gase, who noted that Tannehill has to "shoot him straight" on his injury. "Now it's about the next day, how does he feel the next day. How much can he do the next day."
Even if Tannehill doesn't return Sunday or even the following week against Buffalo, it would be positive news for the 5-5 Dolphins to get Tannehill back in December for the stretch run. Miami is tied with four other teams for the AFC's final playoff berth.
Tannehill has missed the past five games with a right shoulder capsule injury in which he still feels pain. Last week, Tannehill eyed an Indianapolis return but noted that he won't be 100 percent and will be playing through the injury the rest of the year.
Brock Osweiler is 2-3 as the Dolphins' starter since taking over for Tannehill in Week 6, but the offense hasn't scored a touchdown with him in command since Oct. 25 at Houston. Osweiler would get the start again Sunday if Tannehill can't go.
Miami got bad injury news regarding another key player: Receiver Jakeem Grant is out for the season and will be placed on injured reserve with a lower leg injury suffered in last week's loss at Green Bay. He had surgery on Monday, but the positive news is he didn't tear his Achilles and should be a full go in 2019.
Grant, the Dolphins' fastest player, has scored two return and two receiving touchdowns this season.
"I felt like he was having a really good year. He was doing a lot for us," Gase said. "Once again, it was a crushing blow for a guy that gives you everything he has."
The Dolphins have placed 12 players on injured reserve (two have returned) since roster cutdown day. Many of them have been key contributors, and Gase noted that owner Steve Ross understands the injuries have played a significant role in Miami's struggling offense and .500 record.