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If Ryan Tannehill’s season is over, their matchup with the Falcons becomes much harder

We still don’t know his prognosis, but it will change everything.

NFL: Preseason-Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The reality of the NFL is that injuries to key players provide major competitive advantages to opponents. It’s an unfortunate truth, but a truth, nonetheless.

I say that because the Falcons may find themselves playing a greatly diminished Miami Dolphins team this season if Ryan Tannehill needs season-ending surgery. Tannehill is a bit of an enigma at quarterback, with no clear consensus on whether he’s quietly one of the best NFL quarterbacks or a mediocre one propped up by a quality supporting cast. Either way, he’s a talented kid, and nobody the Dolphins sign to replace him would be as good as Tannehill himself.

The options out there include longtime veteran backup Matt Moore, Colin Kaepernick, and SMOKIN’ JAY CUTLER himself, none of which come without question marks. There’s a reason Miami fans are so on edge right now, and it’s because they’re looking at the difference between a potential playoff season and .500 or worse ball.

That takes one of the tougher matchups in the first half of the season, given Miami’s real potential, and turning it into a much less challenging game. In a season where every win might count in a more competitive NFC South, that’s a boon for Atlanta, even if it comes under unfortunate circumstances.

In the meantime, stay glued to The Phinsider’s story stream covering Tannehill’s injury. We’ll know in the next couple of days, in all likelihood.