Ryan Tannehill

This Date In Transactions History: Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins Agree To Extension

The Dolphins are currently navigating a quarterback extension, as the front office is working with Tua Tagovailoa on a lucrative second contract. Almost a decade ago, the team found themselves in a very similar situation.

On this date in 2015, the Dolphins signed quarterback Ryan Tannehill to an extension. The six-year, $96MM extension included $45MM guaranteed, and it was intended to cover the last year of the quarterback’s rookie deal, the fifth-year option season, and four additional free agent years.

At the time, it was hard to be overly critical of Miami’s long-term commitment to the former first-round pick. Tannehill topped 3,000 passing yards in each of his first three seasons in the NFL, and he improved on his touchdown totals in each of his campaigns (culminating in a 2014 season where he tossed 27 scores). While the Dolphins had yet to break through with a postseason run, the team’s worst showing through Tannehill’s first three seasons was a 7-9 mark during his rookie campaign.

There was some urgency on the Dolphins’ part to complete a deal. Tannehill was one of four QBs from the 2012 draft class (along with Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson) to be eyeing lucrative extensions, and Miami assured they wouldn’t be boxed into a corner by completing the first deal from that group. Luck ended up getting $140MM from the Colts while Wilson got around $88MM on a four-year deal with the Seahawks (Griffin never got a second contract from Washington). When compared to his draftmates, Tannehill’s average annual value didn’t break the bank.

Of course, the move didn’t come without risk. This was the first major move by Mike Tannenbaum, the Dolphins’ new executive vice president of football operations. It was Tannenbaum’s decision to hand Mark Sanchez a sizable extension in New York that ultimately led to the executive’s ouster. Tannenbaum wasn’t looking to make the same mistake twice.

“We are thrilled that we were able to sign Ryan to an extension,” Tannenbaum said at the time (via the Miami Herald). “He is an ascending talent, a team leader and checks all of the boxes you are looking for at the position.”

While the Dolphins dropped to 6-10 during Tannehill’s first year playing on the extension, the QB continued to validate the organization’s decision. The fourth-year player tossed a career-high 4,045 passing yards that season, making him the fourth QB in NFL history to top 3,000 passing yards in each of his first four seasons. The Dolphins took a step forward during Tannehill’s fifth season at the helm, with the team finally earning a playoff nod. However, after going 8-5 through the first 13 games, Tannehill suffered a season-ending knee injury that knocked him out for the postseason.

That injury ended up greatly altering Tannehill’s ability to finish his contract with Miami. The quarterback opted for rehab over surgery to his injured ACL, allowing him to be on the field for the start of 2017 training camp. However, he suffered another injury during the first day of 11-on-11 drills, and he eventually went under the knife to repair the torn ACL.

That following offseason, the Dolphins faced a major cap crunch. While Tannenbaum could have moved on from Tannehill (via release or trade) without any financial penalty, the executive instead reworked the player’s contract. That move temporarily opened up some breathing room under the cap, but it also kicked some sizable guaranteed money down the road. That decision ended up greatly reducing the organization’s return for the QB a year later.

Tannehill returned in time for the 2018 campaign but was forced to miss a chunk of games due to a shoulder injury. After the Dolphins were forced to rely on their QB2 for three-straight seasons, the team finally decided to cut bait on their franchise signal caller. During the 2019 offseason, the Dolphins traded Tannehill to the Titans for draft compensation. The QB agreed to rip up his contract with Tennessee, locking him into a one-year prove-it deal for the 2019 campaign.

Tannehill bounced back in a big way that season, earning his first career Pro Bowl nod while guiding the Titans to a 7-3 regular season record and a pair of postseason victories. That performance earned him a new contract from the Titans, a four-year, $118MM pact. Tannehill continued to guide a playoff squad in Tennessee for the 2020 and 2021 seasons, but he had an inconsistent role in 2022 and 2023 following the additions of Malik Willis and Will Levis. The 35-year-old is currently a free agent.

Nine years after signing the extension, things couldn’t have worked out much better for Tannehill. Of course, that doesn’t mean the quarterback didn’t take a handful of risks. For starters, much of his future guaranteed money was only due if Tannehill played, meaning he could have been cut at any time without any penalty (an advantage that the Dolphins squandered following that aforementioned restructuring). Tannehill also could have played hard ball with the Titans with the hope of getting cut, but he ultimately fave up some significant future money as he looked to rehabilitate his image. That gamble immediately worked out for the QB, as the Titans signed him to his third contract.

While the Dolphins never reached the success they were surely envisioning when they extended Tannehill, the team at least waved the white flag at the right time. Following a bridge season with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, the team quickly found their future answer at QB in Tagovailoa. Of course, that glass-half-full perspective wasn’t enough to save Tannenbaum’s job. The executive was reassigned from his role in 2018, and while it was the Dolphins’ entire body of work that led to his demotion/firing, the Tannehill restructuring in 2018 certainly didn’t help.

As the Dolphins look to sign Tagovailoa to a second contract, the top decision makers will surely proceed with caution after seeing how things unfolded with their last major QB investment.

QB Options Steelers Considered Before Landing Wilson, Fields

The Steelers’ quarterbacks room underwent a complete overhaul last month, with every quarterback previously on the roster finding their way out of Pittsburgh while every passer currently on the roster was not a Steeler last season. While it looks like Pittsburgh certainly found its way to the best of a bad situation, things could’ve played out much differently, according to Brooke Pryor of ESPN.

The bad situation referred to above was the quarterback situation immediately following last season. Former first-round quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky and Kenny Pickett were failing to live up to their draft stock, and their best hope was to ride with the hot-handed Mason Rudolph, an option they had never shown much trust in in the past and one who was bound for free agency.

The overhaul began with the release of Trubisky, who returned to Buffalo to serve as Josh Allen‘s backup. Then, things really hit the fan when Pittsburgh landed the signature of Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, who would presumably slide in as the new starter, despite assurances that he would compete with Pickett for the job. Rudolph, seeing his chances at a starting job disappear, opted not to return signing with the Titans. And, after seeing the writing on the wall, Pickett asked for a trade, which the Steelers honored by sending him to Philadelphia, where he would back up Jalen Hurts. Finally, the Steelers filled out the rest of their room by trading for the former polarizing Bears quarterback Justin Fields and signing veteran backup quarterback Kyle Allen.

They flipped a room that appeared to have a pretty low floor with an unclear ceiling and turned it into a room full of proven experience and future potential without committing too many resources to acquire it. Before they landed on Wilson as their best option moving forward, though, the team looked at a few other options.

After hiring former Falcons head coach Arthur Smith as their new offensive coordinator, Pittsburgh felt comfortable moving forward with Pickett leading a run-heavy, play-action offense. Smith had run a successful version of that style of offense in Tennessee with Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. The team even explored reuniting Tannehill and Smith with the veteran quarterback hitting free agency this offseason. They also kicked the tires on new Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins before deciding that he was out of their price range.

They also nearly pulled the trigger on a second backup option before trading for Fields. The Steelers reportedly had a high chance of signing new Browns backup quarterback Tyler Huntley, per Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. A division-rival before and after his new contract, the Steelers had seen Huntley in four of his nine career starts with the Ravens and clearly liked what they saw. With Fields in the fold now, Huntley was the odd man out but ended up staying in the AFC North anyway.

Instead of rolling with Tannehill or Cousins and Huntley, the Steelers are well set up to field an offense with Wilson and Fields in 2024. They certainly did their homework on several options but ended up with what may have been the best-case scenario after a rough 2023 season that saw them shuffle through Pickett, Trubisky, and Rudolph.

Broncos “Leaning Toward” Jarrett Stidham As QB1

Before the 2024 league year began, we heard that Jarrett Stidham had a good chance to open the season as the Broncos’ starting quarterback. Now, as the dust settles on the first wave of free agency, it appears that Stidham’s hold on the QB1 job has only gotten stronger.

In evaluating the QB signings and trades that have taken place around the league, Mike Klis of 9News.com says that the Broncos “seem to be leaning toward” having Stidham serve as the starter — at least at the beginning of the 2024 campaign — and using their No. 12 overall selection on a collegiate passer. After all, while Denver considered Sam Darnold, who ultimately signed with the Vikings, Sean Payton & Co. reportedly did not make a contract offer (per Klis, Darnold strongly preferred Minnesota anyway).

Likewise, Klis reports that the Broncos did their due diligence on former Patriots signal-caller Mac Jones, but they did not make a trade offer. New England ultimately dealt Jones to the Jaguars for a sixth-round pick. Klis also says that Denver was never in on high-priced free agent options like Kirk Cousins and Baker Mayfield, and he adds that the club has not shown any interest in Ryan Tannehill. While there are still free agents (Tannehill) and trade candidates (Trey Lance, Zach Wilson) that the Broncos could pursue, none of them would necessarily unseat Stidham.

Notwithstanding Klis’ expectation that the Broncos’ will use their top draft choice on a quarterback, Troy Renck of the Denver Post believes the team could trade back, unless a player like Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy should fall into that range, or unless Payton is particularly high on Oregon’s Bo Nix. Renck’s sources tell him that four quarterbacks will be selected within the top six picks of the draft, and it certainly seems to be a safe bet that the first three selections will be used on passers. The Bears (No. 1 overall) and Commanders (No. 2 overall) appear poised to draft QBs, and even if the Patriots (No. 3 overall) trade back, the team that trades with them may well use that pick on a quarterback. The price to leap up the draft board to select the third- or fourth-best QB prospect in the draft would be prohibitive for a team like the Broncos that is clearly in rebuild mode (to say nothing of the fact that the Vikings, who have the No. 11 overall pick, are better-positioned to make such a move).

Obviously, if the Broncos were to trade down as Renck suggests, that would solidify Stidham as the short-term starter while helping the team pick up additional capital to address other holes on a roster that has plenty of them. One way or another, as Albert Breer of SI.com wrote on the day free agency began, Denver is not going to force anything at the QB position, and Payton’s confidence in Stidham affords them the ability to be patient, even if “patience” is not one of Payton’s favorite words.

Ryan Tannehill On Steelers’ Radar?

After Will Levis took over for an injured Ryan Tannehill midway through the 2023 season, the latter’s Titans tenure appeared to come to a close. Tannehill is a pending free agent, but he should draw interest from a number of potential suitors.

One of those is likely to be the Steelers, Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network write. Pittsburgh hired ex-Falcons head coach Arthur Smith as offensive coordinator, meaning a Tannehill deal would mark a reunion. He and Smith worked together in Tennessee, during which time Tannehill had the most productive seasons of his career.

Smith served as the Titans’ OC in 2019 and ’20, Tannehill’s first two campaigns in Nashville. He earned his lone Pro Bowl nod, along with Comeback Player of the Year honors in 2019 while averaging a league-leading 9.2 yards per attempt. The former Dolphins first-rounder followed that up with 3,819 yards and a 33:7 touchdown-to-interception ratio, proving to be a solid fit in Smith’s run-heavy scheme. With Levis now in the fold, though, Tannehill (along with fellow stalwart Derrick Henry) is on track to depart in free agency.

In three seasons since Smith parlayed his coordinator success into Atlanta’s head coaching gig, Tannehill has regressed statistically while dealing with multiple injuries. In November, he was demoted to backup behind Levis, who showed flashes in his rookie campaign. Tannehill – who insisted he did not seek out his release in the aftermath of that decision – started the final three games of the campaign with Levis sidelined, giving him one last audition period before reaching the open market.

Tannehill, 35, is one of several veteran signal-callers in this year’s projected free agent class. Kirk CousinsBaker Mayfield and Gardner Minshew could command more lucrative deals if they do not remain with their respective teams, but Tannehill could at least compete for a starting role in the right environment. Pittsburgh has Kenny Pickett, Mason Rudolph and Mitch Trubisky in place for now, but changes at the position are expected.

Trubisky is likely to be released after finding himself demoted to third-stringer, while Rudolph is a pending free agent. He could be retained, but a new deal would likely depend on the potential of winning the starting position in training camp. Pickett is under team control for at least two more years, but he was passed over in favor of Rudolph during the team’s late-season playoff push and wild-card loss. The 2022 first-rounder will enter the offseason as QB1, but a competition will take place.

Tannehill will be in line for a far smaller deal than the four-year, $118MM pact he signed in 2020 on his next contract. The Steelers, meanwhile, are among the teams currently set to be over the salary cap for the 2024 league year, although they like all others will make a number of cost-cutting moves in the coming weeks. Any interest between the two parties will be worth watching as the QB market begins to take shape.

Titans’ Ryan Tannehill Not Seeking Release

Speculation (and at least one false report) has emerged recently indicating Ryan Tannehill intends to depart the Titans to pursue a starting role elsewhere in 2023. The veteran quarterback made it clear on Friday that is not the case.

Tannehill, who entered the season with questions about his future in Tennessee given his age and contract status, has seen his run as a starter come to an end. Despite returning to health from an ankle injury, the 35-year-old has been demoted to backup behind rookie Will Levis. The latter has started each of the past three games, and he will remain the No. 1 moving forward.

That appeared to make Tannehill a trade chip ahead of the deadline, though the Titans would have needed to retain a portion of his remaining 2023 salary ($27MM) for a swap to be feasible. With the trade deadline having come and gone, a release would now be necessary for him to find a new team – either by being claimed off waivers or clearing and signing with an interested suitor as a free agent. When speaking to the media, Tannehill confirmed that is not in the cards.

“I was kind of caught off guard by those reports as well,” the former Comeback Player of the Year said, via Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky (video link). “Obviously, I have a desire to play, but I just don’t know what that looks like at this point.” 

Tannehill added no discussions have taken place with head coach Mike Vrabel on the topic of releasing him before the end of the campaign. While a number of teams in contention for a postseason berth could certainly use a veteran signal-caller, Tannehill will be a valued member of a QBs room which features Levis and Malik Willis, who has 66 pass attempts to his name. Unless Levis loses his grip on the starter’s role, though, Tannehill is in line for an interesting free agent period.

The latter will see his four-year, $118MM deal expire in March, setting him up for a departure from Nashville. As things currently stand, though, he is content for that to mark the point at which he entertains offers on a contract allowing him to reclaim a starting gig.

Titans To Keep Will Levis As Starter; Ryan Tannehill Moved To Backup Role

Will Levis did not beat out Malik Willis for the backup role out of training camp, but after two starts in relief of Ryan Tannehill, the second-round rookie will make a major jump. Mike Vrabel named Levis his starter going forward.

Once Tannehill recovers from his latest ankle injury, Vrabel confirmed (via ESPN.com’s Turron Davenport) he will be the backup. This will be Tannehill’s first time in a backup role since the opening weeks of the 2019 season, when Tennessee kept Marcus Mariota in place as the starter.

Like Mariota in 2019, Tannehill is in a contract year. Following the ex-Dolphins starter’s surprisingly productive (and surprisingly healthy) stretch upon replacing Mariota four years ago, the Titans gave Tannehill a four-year extension worth $118MM. This came just before the start of free agency in 2020, allowing the team to use its franchise tag on Derrick Henry. Tannehill started 61 games for the Titans over the past five seasons. Barring a Levis injury, it looks likely he will not start a 62nd for the team.

Although Warren Moon and Dan Pastorini started more games than Tannehill with the franchise, only Steve McNair outranks the 2012 first-rounder for QB starts as a Titan. The team was believed to have considered Tannehill trades this past April, when it was regularly linked to moving up for a first-round quarterback. New GM Ran Carthon was believed to have bowed out of the running for a Round 1 move up when the Texans chose C.J. Stroud. In Round 2, however, Carthon resumed the pursuit by trading up with the Cardinals for Levis.

As Tannehill moves toward free agency, Levis joins Stroud and Anthony Richardson as long-term options under center in the AFC South. The No. 33 overall pick, Levis took a more complicated route to this point. He was widely expected to become a first-round pick, with the Colts frequently connected to the Kentucky product. After Indianapolis went with Richardson, Levis tumbled down the board and out of the first round. The Titans traded a 2024 third-rounder to move up for Levis, who has an extended runway to show he can be Tennessee’s unquestioned starter for the ’24 season.

In two games as a starter, Levis has completed 60.3% of his passes — at 7.4 yards per throw — and tallied four touchdown tosses compared to one interception. The Titans topped the Falcons in Week 8, with Levis hitting DeAndre Hopkins for three scores, and narrowly lost to the Steelers in Week 9. Had the Titans drifted off track to start the season, an extended look was always likely for Levis. Now that Tennessee sits 3-5, the team will see what Levis can offer down the stretch.

Both Tannehill and Willis were acquired during GM Jon Robinson‘s run. With Carthon drafting Levis, this could begin a new era for the Titans. Willis remains on Tennessee’s 53-man roster, but after Levis leapfrogged him, the raw passer has a cloudy future in Nashville. Tannehill has now missed seven games over the past two seasons due to ankle trouble. That will likely affect his 2024 free agency bid, though teams should still be interested in a quarterback who piloted the Titans to three playoff berths and the 2019 AFC championship game.

Titans Planning To Start Will Levis In Week 8; Malik Willis Expected To See Time

OCTOBER 27: As expected, the Titans ruled out Tannehill for Week 8. After not missing a start during his first three seasons with Tennessee, the former injury-prone Miami starter has seen ankle trouble sideline him again. This will be Tannehill’s sixth ankle-driven absence in the past two seasons.

OCTOBER 25: Exiting their bye at 2-4, the Titans made a notable trade Monday in sending All-Pro safety Kevin Byard to the Eagles. On the heels of that decision, Tennessee is expected to roll with an unorthodox plan at quarterback in Week 8.

Mike Vrabel said both Malik Willis and Will Levis are likely to play against the Falcons, but NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport adds the rookie is expected to make the start in the event Ryan Tannehill cannot go. Dealing with an ankle injury, Tannehill is unlikely to play against Atlanta. The Titans may go as far to alternate Levis and Willis by series, Vrabel added (via ESPN.com’s Turron Davenport), though the sixth-year Tennessee HC did not confirm Tannehill would miss the game.

When Tannehill went down during the Titans’ loss to the Ravens in London, Willis received the first call. The 2022 third-round pick worked as Tannehill’s backup for much of last season, though he experienced initial struggles acclimating to the NFL. Willis still beat out Levis for Tennessee’s QB2 job coming into this season, but the Titans will take a longer look at the second-round rookie. The No. 33 overall pick is on track to see more time than Willis, per Rapoport.

The Titans are in the unusual position of attempting to develop two quarterbacks behind Tannehill. While Willis qualifies as a developmental option, he did not threaten Tannehill’s job security last season. Willis’ first-year woes (50.8% completion rate, 4.5 yards per attempt) led the Titans to sign Josh Dobbs off the Lions’ practice squad late last year and use the latter as their starter in Weeks 17 and 18. Willis also arrived under since-fired GM Jon Robinson, whereas new GM Ran Carthon selected Levis in April.

Closely linked to a quarterback trade-up in Round 1, the Titans engaged in talks with the Cardinals about moving up to No. 3. C.J. Stroud was believed to be the team’s target, but when the Texans chose Stroud at No. 2 overall, the Titans are believed to have backed out of trade talks and regrouped. Tennessee chose guard Peter Skoronski at No. 11 but made its QB strike early the following night, reengaging with the Cards by moving up eight spots for Levis, who was heavily rumored to be a first-round pick.

Mentioned as a Colts target at No. 4 overall, Levis indeed had fans in Indianapolis’ building. But the Colts look to have run a bit of a smokescreen aimed at drafting Anthony Richardson. A two-year starter at Kentucky, Levis tumbled out of Round 1 and hit the developmental track as the other top QBs in this class received calls to start in Week 1.

The Titans entered their bye week bracing for another Tannehill absence. The 12th-year quarterback missed two sections of last season because of ankle trouble, the first of which coming around midseason and leading Willis into the lineup. Vrabel likened Tannehill’s current injury to the one he sustained midway through last year, as opposed to the malady that required a season-ending surgery last December. Tannehill, 35, is in the final season of a four-year Titans contract. Levis seeing extended time this season makes sense, and signs of a long Levis look open the door to more seller’s trades from a Titans team that made several cost-cutting moves this offseason.

Titans Bracing For Ryan Tannehill Absence

Two Titans quarterbacks are in development behind Ryan Tannehill. After the organization has attempted to back-burner the training of Malik Willis and Will Levis, one of the two will likely need to start when the team comes off its bye in Week 8.

The Titans are bracing to be without Tannehill due to the high ankle sprain he suffered Sunday in London, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler notes. Tannehill injured the same right ankle on which he underwent surgery. The 12th-year quarterback suffered multiple injuries to this ankle last season, the first costing him midseason time and the second leading to the season-ending procedure.

Tannehill’s latest injury is not believed to be as serious as the one that shut down the five-year Titans starter, per Fowler, though a multi-game absence is in play. But Mike Vrabel compared it to the malady that sidelined his starter in October 2022. Even with the Titans in their bye week, it appears likely Tannehill will not be ready to go after an extra stretch of rest.

Tennessee moved Willis into its lineup against Baltimore. While the 2022 third-round pick completed four of five passes, much his 80 yards came on a Tyjae Spears catch-and-run. The Liberty alum took four sacks in two drives against the Ravens. Willis looked incredibly raw when called upon as a rookie, almost definitely costing the Titans a win in Kansas City and then seeing the team use Josh Dobbs to close out the season despite the latter being signed off the Lions’ practice squad days before. Levis has not taken any regular-season snaps, with Willis having beaten out the second-round pick for the QB2 job during the preseason.

The Titans are giving each young QB extra work during the bye week, per Jim Wyatt of the team website. Developing two QBs has introduced an interesting dynamic, one pass-game coordinator Charles London called “unusual.” Vrabel was present when the Titans stopped Willis’ slide last year, while GM Ran Carthon had no hand in the Willis pick. Carthon engineered a trade-up for Levis at No. 34 — coming after steady buzz the Titans would trade up in Round 1 for a Tannehill heir apparent. Once the Texans chose C.J. Stroud at No. 2 overall, the Titans were believed to have ended their effort to climb up the board in Round 1.

Tannehill’s four-year, $118MM contract expires at season’s end, making a midseason audition from one or both of the backups pertinent to the team’s future. The Titans were believed to have dangled their starter in trades before the draft, and it is no secret the former top-10 pick’s Titans future is cloudy as a lame duck. Tannehill, 35, will need to bounce back upon return from this injury to solidify a 2024 free agent market. Although injuries led Tannehill out of Miami, he stayed healthy from 2019-21 to lead Tennessee to three playoff berths. But ankle trouble has intervened regularly over the past year.

With Tennessee at 2-4 and likely needing to start one of its unseasoned reserves, the prospect of a late-season audition — along the lines of what the Falcons provided Desmond Ridder last year — could be in play should the team drift off the contention radar. The Titans have qualified for the playoffs or been in that mix since 2017, but they made several cost-cutting moves this offseason — a few of which coming on the offensive line. Should losses pile up, the retooling team will face decisions at the trade deadline (regarding non-QB pieces) and down the stretch (at quarterback).

QB Updates: Tannehill, Lawrence, Garoppolo

Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who left Tottenham Hotspur Stadium yesterday on crutches, has reportedly suffered a high ankle sprain on his right leg, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. This type of injury routinely requires a decent amount of recovery time, putting his status for the team’s next game in doubt, but with a bye week between now and then, it’s not a guarantee that he will be unavailable the next time Tennessee takes the field.

Head coach Mike Vrabel relayed to the media that this injury looks similar to Tannehill’s injury last year, going on to specify that he was referencing the first ankle injury Tannehill suffered earlier in the season and not the one later on that would require surgery, per ESPN’s Turron Davenport. Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com reported further comments from Vrabel stating that, if healthy, Tannehill would still be the team’s starting quarterback.

Here are a few other injury updates to passers in the AFC:

  • On a short week, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence‘s status for this week’s Thursday Night Football trip to New Orleans is in question. According to Ian Rapoport, after he injured his knee in last week’s win over the Colts, MRIs revealed a slight knee sprain that could threaten Lawrence’s availability. Lawrence wouldn’t normally need to practice much in a short week anyway, but while nursing a knee sprain, they’ll likely only test his knee out to determine his status for this week’s contest. Backup quarterback C.J. Beathard would step in if Lawrence isn’t able to go.
  • After sending quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the hospital mid-game yesterday, the Raiders received “better than expected news” after a flurry of tests, per Rapoport. They sought out the hospital’s assistance with their superior equipment as they evaluated Garoppolo for injuries to his ribs and back and ruled out any internal injuries. While not ruling it out completely, Rapoport claimed it would be “a challenge” for Garoppolo to play this week. If he’s unable to go, either Brian Hoyer or fourth-round pick Aidan O’Connell would get the start in Chicago. Hoyer sealed the victory in relief of Garoppolo over their former team yesterday, while O’Connell got the start in the Raiders’ Week 4 loss to the Chargers.

Injury Notes: Harris, Tannehill, Garoppolo, Montgomery

Another scary scene in a Bills‘ regular season game, this time on their own home turf. Shortly before halftime in tonight’s Sunday Night Football game, Bills running back Damien Harris went down after an awkward-looking stinger and laid motionless on the turf, per Alaina Getzenberg of ESPN, requiring Buffalo’s award-winning medical staff to leap into action once again.

Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News reported that Harris was able to give the stadium a thumbs up as he was loaded into the ambulance in the middle of the field, providing a bit of comfort in a terrifying situation. Reports quickly followed that Harris was ruled out for the remainder of the contest with a neck injury but that he had movement in his arms and legs as he was being taken to the hospital for further testing, according to The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia.

While James Cook has shouldered most of the load at running back in Buffalo so far this year, Harris has worked in tandem with Latavius Muray to spell Cook here and there. Harris came into the game as the team’s second-leading rusher in the running backs room. Hopefully, Harris will be able to make a quick and strong return to the field and retake his role in the Bills’ backfield.

Here are a few other injury rumors from around the NFL today:

  • Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill suffered a right ankle injury in today’s loss to the Ravens in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. After the initial injury, when a Ravens defender rolled over the back of Tannehill’s legs on a sack, the veteran quarterback attempted to return to the game. He found it difficult to step into throws and subsequently threw an interception. He told the media after the game that he felt he couldn’t be effective with the injury, leading to the entry of backup quarterback Malik Willis. According to ESPN’s Turron Davenport, Tannehill was on crutches after the game with plans to undergo an MRI once back in Tennessee. He missed the last three games of the season last year due to an injury to that same ankle, so there may be some concern about further damage to a previous injury. Despite the early hype, second-round rookie Will Levis has not been active for recent games, leading to the use of Willis. With a bye week coming up, there are myriad possibilities in the quarterbacks room. Tannehill could have plenty of time to heal, Willis could have ample time to prepare, or Levis could use the time to earn the staff’s trust, along with his first start.
  • The Raiders played the second half of today’s win over New England without starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after the former Patriot left the game with a back injury. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Las Vegas chose to “err on the side of caution” with their 31-year-old quarterback, sending him to the hospital mid-game for some precautionary tests.
  • Lions running back David Montgomery was knocked out of today’s win over the Buccaneers with a rib injury, according to Schefter. With Jahmyr Gibbs already ruled out while nursing a hamstring injury, Detroit turned to third- and fourth-string backs Craig Reynolds and Devine Ozigbo. X-rays came back negative on Montgomery’s ribs, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, a good sign that Montgomery may have avoided serious injury to his ribs. If neither Montgomery nor Gibbs are able to return for next week’s trip to Baltimore, expect more of Reynolds and Ozigbo.