Dolphins’ Jay Cutler likely to miss game with cracked ribs
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Matt Moore will start by default this week for the Miami Dolphins, leaving their simmering quarterback controversy on hold.
Jay Cutler suffered multiple cracked ribs in Miami’s latest win and is unlikely to be available Thursday at Baltimore, coach Adam Gase said Monday.
Moore came off the bench in the second half Sunday to replace Cutler and lead a 31-28 comeback victory against the New York Jets.
Gase declined to say whether Cutler remains the No. 1 quarterback and will return to the lineup when healthy.
“You’re getting way ahead of me,” Gase said. “With this quick turnaround, I’m really focused on this week.
“When we get through Thursday, we’ve got our bye weekend, and then I’m able to see where we’re at — the total picture and the health status of a lot of different people. I’m not ready to go anywhere near anything with the quarterback. I know who is available this week.”
It’s possible Cutler will be unavailable for more than one game.
“It becomes a huge pain tolerance thing once you get everything calmed down,” Gase said. “It’s not an easy injury. It’s tough to breathe, let alone throw.”
Left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who left Sunday’s game because of a knee injury, wasn’t seriously hurt and might play against the Ravens, Gase said.
A hit by Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins sidelined Cutler in the third quarter. Moore came on and threw two touchdown passes to help Miami (4-2) erase a 14-point deficit in the final 12 minutes.
Moore went 13 for 21 for 188 yards and one interception.
“You just tell yourself, don’t try to do too much and play within the scheme and let your guys make plays, which they did,” Moore said. “It was great.”
When Ryan Tannehill suffered a season-ending knee injury early in training camp, Gase coaxed Cutler out of retirement and quickly gave him the starting job ahead of Moore, who is in his seventh year with the Dolphins.
They’re off to their best start since 2003, but the offense has sputtered, ranking last in the NFL in yards per play and per game.
Cutler ranks 28th in passer rating, and he drew boos in his Dolphins home debut two weeks ago. The crowd cheered when Moore replaced him against the Jets.
“Matt’s just a slinger, and he’s going to throw it to the guy that’s open,” receiver Kenny Stills said. “You can see the crowd loves him. We do too when he’s in there. We have a lot of trust in him.”
Players also speak highly of Cutler, and there’s no hint of locker room division regarding the two quarterbacks. But Moore is more the gregarious personality, and his supporters argue the team plays with more energy when he’s in the game.
That was the case Sunday, Gase acknowledged.
“Any time you’re the backup quarterback and you go in there, there’s a sense of urgency increased,” Gase said. “This last game, guys realized the position he got thrust into.”
Moore is 15-14 as a starter, including 2-2 in 2016. He helped the Dolphins reach the playoffs last season after Tannehill hurt his knee in Week 14, but Miami was blown out in its final two games.
Now the Dolphins are on their third quarterback of the year, the latest challenge in a season full of strange twists.
The opener was postponed because of Hurricane Irma, linebacker Lawrence Timmons briefly went AWOL, and offensive line coach Chris Foerster resigned after a video surfaced showing him snorting wide powder.
Despite it all, only one team in the NFL has fewer losses.
“To be 4-2 with the craziness this season’s been,” Moore said, “you feel good.”