As I write this article Miami Dolphins training camp is only a week old and the Dolphins have already had three major injuries thus far and things could not be looking any worse at the moment.
First let’s start with offensive guard Ted Larsen who from early reports tore his biceps and is most likely out for most if not the entire 2017 season. That is not confirmed at this time but that is the reporting at the moment I am typing this and the news doesn’t look good. The Dolphins offensive line was already very shaky at both guards spots and this injury is not going to help matters. Larsen was a proven veteran who, while not the second coming of Larry Little, was a reliable proven NFL player. Not to mention Larsen provided key depth to the center position which is needed becasue as we all know Mike Pouncey has a bad hip and has missed a lot of games in recent years.
Who Miami turns to at this time at the left guard position is a huge question mark. Off the bat you would think rookie Issac Asiata will get a long look and a golden opportunity to win the starters job. As I have said in the past he was a 5th round pick for a reason and at times was overmatched in the PAC 12, what the heck is he going to do vs NFL caliber players game in and game out? He isn’t playing Washington St anymore. I am not sure he is ready yet to be an NFL starter. The other option is if Pouncey remains healthy is to slide Kraig Urbik over to left guard (he has been the starting center in camp as Pouncey rests) and honestly this seems like the most logical option in reality. Urbik is not a great player by any means but he has started games before and been around the block a time or two and won’t kill you at the position should he be needed to start. Orlando Franklin is still available as a free agent and he has history with Head Coach Adam Gase as well and I am sure Miami will kick the tires on him. Remember though the Saints cut him a few days ago and said he had a knee injury so one has to wonder if he has anything left at all. Same with Nick Mangold who has ties with Mike Tannenbaum as well. Needless to say if Ted Larsen is lost for the season or 8-10 weeks of it that actually is a big blow to the Dolphins offensive line. Especially if Ryan Tannehill is not 100%.
So let’s get into Ryan Tannehill and the drama surrounding him at this time. The good news is no PCL damage and no structural damage to the knee. The bad is we still do not know as of this time for certain if Tannehill will play at all in this 2017 season. If (big IF here people) Tannehill essentially has the same injury he had last year then at some point having surgery to fix it once and for all will be on the table and the time to have that done would most likely be now. Now, if this ends up being less serious than last years injury then I would expect Tannehill to miss all of training camp and who knows maybe a few games in September if not more (I am not a doctor nor trying to play one here, just taking an educated guess.) Either way this is not good as even if Tannehill does suck it up and play through this after some time off he will clearly be less than 100% all year meaning having a rock solid offensive line is a must.
Let me make this crystal clear to everyone; for the Miami Dolphins to have any shot at making the playoffs in 2017 they need Ryan Tannehill to be their starting quarterback. If he is out for half the season or all of the season Matt Moore isn’t leading this team to the playoffs. Colin Kapernick
isn’t leading this team to the playoffs. Jay Cutler or Tony Romo isn’t coming out of retirement and leading this team to the playoffs. And Peyton Manning isn’t coming off a one year hiatus to lead this team to the playoffs. It’s Tannehill or Bust in 2017. Let’s just be crystal clear on that. Matt Moore played well vs a Jets team that had given up on the season and had god awful talent by the end of the year and he played decent vs a Bills team that had quit on their head coach Rex Ryan. In the 2 games Moore played vs the Patriots and Steelers he looked marginal to bad and was a turnover machine. So everyone can STOP with the Matt Moore is just as good as Ryan Tannehill…he isn’t!
I’m not going to get into Jay Cutler, Colin Kaepernick, or RGIII talk today as we have no idea if Tannehill will be out a week, three weeks, or the entire season. When the time is right to talk about those options if it even arises be sure I will. As of now though one thing we can say for certain; IF Ryan Tannehill plays football in 2017 for the Miami Dolphins he clearly won’t be 100% at any time.
Jay Ajayi suffered a concussion earlier this week and has been sidelined. The issue here is in this league these days you can only suffer so many concussions before the league and the team puts you on the shelf. You just hate to see a player get one of these at all let alone in a meaningless practice on July 31st. I’m sure Ajayi will come back from this and be ready to play Week 1, the issue is if Ajayi suffers another concussion early in the year the league and team will be extra cautious on when he comes back and he could be out weeks if not months. And god forbid he has a third one then you are talking retirement in this day of age as the league and team will just refuse to let him play. Ajayi was the first major injury the Dolphins suffered in training camp and who would have thought it would be the one fans are least worried about.
Keep coming back to DolphinsTalk.com as we will continue to provide updates on all of the injury news surrounding the team.
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