There is no guess work or gameday decision to await this week on who will start at quarterback for the Miami Dolphins against the Detroit Lions.
Brock Osweiler, who led the Dolphins to a 31-28 overtime victory over the Chicago Bears last week as a gameday emergency replacement for Ryan Tannehill, was named the starter for Sunday's game at Hard Rock Stadium.
Dolphins head coach Adam Gase, a former Lions assistant, made the announcement Wednesday afternoon and explained it to the Detroit media in a conference call interview later in the day.
It was a matter of a shoulder injury that caused Tannehill to miss last week's game failing to heal adequately, Gase said.
"We're taking it a day at a time," Gase said. "And it's really been one of those things where we've got to kind of regroup and figure out where he (Tannehill) is at. Last week he kind of went downhill from the start of the week to the end of the week."'
Gase said he doesn't expect to make major changes in the offensive game plan to accommodate the different playing styles of Tannehill and Osweiler. There didn't seem to be any major concern on the Lions' part in preparing for Osweiler as opposed to Tannehill.
"I prepare for schemes, not quarterbacks," Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson emphasized before the quarterback change was announced. "I'm a cornerback. I don't prepare for quarterbacks. I prepare for schemes."
Meet this week's opponents, the Miami Dolphins.
Osweiler is considerably bigger and more physically imposing at 6-7 and 240 pounds than Tannehill, who is 6-4 and 207 and more athletic.
"They're not far apart," Gase said. "Ryan has a larger skill set when it comes to being able to run with the football. Brock still has the ability to do a lot of that. He's athletic. He's a former basketball player.
"When he gets out in the open field, he's not afraid to mix it up with anybody. There's not too much difference. It's not like a wholesale change in the offense."
Being named the starter at the beginning of the practice week should give Osweiler a head start over last week's preparation, when he told reporters after Sunday's game he took "one or two" practice plays with the No. 1 offense on Thursday and "a couple" on Friday.
Osweiler played his role against the Bears, with help from his teammates, to give the Dolphins a victory they needed badly to stop a two-game losing streak that took the glow off their 3-0 start.
Osweiler completed 28 of 44 passes for 380 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He connected with speedster Albert Wilson on a 75-yard catch and run – mostly run – for a game-tying touchdown with 3:11 left in regulation.
Frank Gore, seemingly ageless at 35 and in his 14th pro season, led the running game with 15 carries for 101 yards.
Rookie Jason Sanders kicked a 47-yard field goal as time expired in overtime to win the game. Sanders was 3-for-3 in the game and is now 6-for-6 for the season.
View photos from Detroit Lions practice on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.
Personnel dept,: There could be some good news for the Dolphins on the injury front regarding defensive end Cameron Wake.
Wake could return to face the Lions after missing the last two games with a knee injury. Wake has averaged a little more than 10 sacks per season in his nine years with the Dolphins and had double digit sacks the last two years. He has one sack in four games this year.
He has to see how Wake feels Thursday after participating in Wednesday's practice to get an indication on his availability for Sunday, Gase said.
"He's an important piece for the amount of disruption he causes in the passing game," Gase said. "Really, it's going to be how he feels the next day."
The Dolphins are tied for 26th in the league in team sacks with 10. At the opposite end of the spectrum, they are No. 1 with 11 interceptions, and the 81.9 composite passer rating they've allowed in six games is fifth best.
Safety Maurice Smith was signed, taking the roster spot opened when linebacker Chase Allen was put on injured reserve.