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Sports Pulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Lorenzo Reyes breaks down all the options for the Miami Dolphins, who lost Ryan Tannehill to a knee injury.
USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in a little more than eight months, the Miami Dolphins have to face the fact Ryan Tannehill could be lost for an extended period of time. 

The team’s starting quarterback went down in Thursday’s practice with a non-contact injury to his left knee, the same one on which he suffered a sprained anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in Week 14 last season.

Even though the team continues to assess the best way to treat Tannehill, it appears he will be lost for a good period of time — if not the entire season.

Though certainly not ideal – and though all the following options present a downgrade – Miami does have a few routes it can take in the short term.

Stick with Matt Moore

Tannehill’s backup, Moore, is widely considered to be one of the top No. 2 options in the league. He understands coach Adam Gase’s offense, has plenty of experience, and can fill in and produce. When Tannehill went down last year, Moore completed 63.2% of his passes for 721 yards and eight touchdowns against three interceptions in four-regular season games. Miami won two of the three contests he started. In the playoffs, however, the offense sputtered in a 30-12 wild-card loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers under Moore.

If the Dolphins opt to stick with Moore, though, they could add another passer for depth.

Sign recently retired Jay Cutler

After the Chicago Bears released him this offseason, Cutler didn’t draw any interest on the open market, retired and joined Fox Sports as an analyst. Cutler worked with Gase when the Dolphins coach was Chicago’s offensive coordinator for the 2015 season. Gase said at the annual league meetings in March: “I think he’s a starting quarterback” and “I think he has a lot to offer a team.”

While under Gase, Cutler completed 64.4% of his passes for 3,659 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2015. More importantly, Gase helped simplify the system and assisted Cutler in reducing his interceptions, which dropped to 11 from 18 the year before.

Multiple media reports said the Dolphins and Cutler talked on Friday night, but no deal has been reached.

Sign Colin Kaepernick

This would be the…