Tannehill becomes first rookie to win Dolphins’ QB job

With his NFL debut still more than two weeks away, Ryan Tannehill can already boast of an achievement unprecedented among Miami Dolphins quarterbacks: He won a starting job in his first training camp.

New coach Joe Philbin gave Tannehill the job Monday, meaning the Dolphins will have a rookie QB start a season opener for the first time when they play at Houston Sept. 9.

Not even Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino or Bob Griese started the first game of their rookie season.

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Tannehill beat out Matt Moore, who started the final 12 games last year.

‘‘It was a close competition,’’ Philbin said of his biggest decision so far as a head coach. ‘‘We like a lot of things about Ryan. He has a chance to be a very good player.’’

Training camp began with a three-way competition at quarterback, but veteran David Garrard fell out of contention when he underwent minor knee surgery Aug. 11.

Tannehill, who played at Texas A&M, was drafted with the eighth overall pick, which made him the first quarterback taken in the opening round by the Dolphins since Marino in 1983.

Titans tab Locker

The Titans have picked Jake Locker as their starter over veteran Matt Hasselbeck, choosing to wait no further to play the quarterback they drafted in 2011 for their future. Coach Mike Munchak announced the decision after practice, saying Locker’s time is now and he gives the Titans their best chance to win the AFC South. Tennessee opens the season Sept. 9 against the Patriots . . . Vince Young has the inside track to win the Bills’ backup quarterback job, coach Chan Gailey said. Since signing with Buffalo in May, Young has been competing with returning backup Tyler Thigpen for the No. 2 job. The loser is expected to be cut, because the third-string job is going to receiver/wildcat specialist Brad Smith.

Seau’s system clean Junior Seau had no alcohol or illegal drugs in his system when he shot himself in the chest at his home in May. The San Diego County medical examiner’s office released the full autopsy results for the 43-year-old former NFL linebacker, saying he used a .357-caliber unregistered revolver to kill himself.

The 16-page report said Seau did have Zolpidem, used to treat insomnia, and traces of Naproxen, a common drug used to relieve pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis, in his system when he died. The autopsy said Seau’s brain didn’t appear to have any trauma. His family has donated some of his brain tissue for research.

Merriman cut

It’s lights out for Shawne Merriman in Buffalo after the Bills cut the one-time star pass rusher. The move was announced by the team in a one-sentence news release as the Bills prepared to return to practice following a two-day break. Merriman’s release was regarded as a mild surprise for a player who described himself as being in his best shape in years after having season-ending surgery in November to repair a partially torn right Achilles’ tendon . . . Injuries could already keep two defensive starters out of the Chiefs’ season-opener against Atlanta. Now, a suspension has sidelined their best pass rusher. Pro Bowl linebacker Tamba Hali will miss the Sept. 9 game against the Falcons without pay after violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, the league said. Hali will be fined an additional game check and be eligible to return in Week 2 . . . A person familiar with the situation said the Jaguars are going to play multiple home games in London beginning in 2013. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and team owner Shad Khan want to make a formal announcement Tuesday afternoon in Jacksonville. The person said the Jaguars will play a total of four home games in London, one each year between 2013 and 2016.

Collie has concussion

Colts receiver Austin Collie has been diagnosed with at least his third concussion in less than 22 months. Coach Chuck Pagano said Collie returned to the team complex and ‘‘felt good,’’ but the team would not use him again until he was cleared to play by the team’s medical staff. Collie missed seven of the final eight regular-season games in 2010 season after sustaining two other concussions . . . Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant will be treated for tendinitis in his right knee after an MRI revealed no tear to a ligament or tendon. Bryant injured his knee during a joint practice with the Chargers . . . Brandon Jacobs balanced himself on crutches walking through the 49ers locker room and LaMichael James strolled through with a backpack and a smile. What at first looked like at least one — if not two — long-term injuries for San Francisco’s newest running backs in Saturday’s 20-9 exhibition loss to the Texans suddenly doesn’t seem so bad. Coach Jim Harbaugh said that Jacobs’s left knee could be healthy enough for him to start the regular-season opener at Green Bay Sept. 9. James said he’s ready to practice already after injuring his left ankle and riding a cart off the field in the fourth quarter . . . Brian Orakpo (left shoulder) and Brandon Meriweather (left knee) will not need surgery from scary-looking injuries in the Redskins’ second preseason game, but coach Mike Shanahan said both will sit out the final two exhibition games . . . Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph passed his post-concussion tests and returned to practice . . . The Falcons lost offensive tackle Will Svitek to a season-ending right arm injury suffered in Sunday’s practice. The team provided no other details about the injury . . . Saints starting linebackers Curtis Lofton (high ankle sprain) and David Hawthorne (torn meniscus) are injured and it’s not certain whether either will be back for New Orleans’s regular-season opener against Washington . . . Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks practiced for basically the first time since the Super Bowl champions opened training camp in late July.