On Thursday, the second day of training camp for the Miami Dolphins, Jalen Ramsey hurt his knee and is going to be out for at least the start of the regular season and possibly into December, depending on how his rehab goes. At least it wasn’t a season-ending injury, but it was a blow as Ramsey was the biggest acquisition in the off-season to pair with star corner Xavien Howard. The Dolphins had a lot of injuries in the secondary last year, but have players returning from injury and guys like Kadar Kohu, who got good experience last year as a rookie, that they can overcome the Ramsey injury. 

However, if there is one concern about the roster general manager Chris Grier has put together, it’s that some players have durability issues, and that means they aren’t available for games. Injuries happen in football as it’s part of the game, and in Ramsey’s case, coming down and twisting his knee while covering the receiver happens as well. The Dolphins have some key players that they can’t afford to lose and should not play them in the preseason or keep them out of harm’s way to get them ready for a long 17 game season. Last year, when the Dolphins had practices with the Philadelphia Eagles, after the first practice of hard hitting, the Eagles decided not to practice some of their key players to get them ready for the long grind of the NFL season and that it’s not worth going 100 miles an hour in a practice-scrimmage. This is probably an approach the Dolphins should take, especially since depth at certain positions is questionable.  

Left tackle Terron Armstead is the first person to come to mind because he hasn’t played a full season in his career. Last year, he played with a nagging toe injury in the season opener and, to his credit, played all season with it. However, he suffered other injuries that cost him some games, such as knee and pectoral injuries. Now, he is on the PUP list because he had his knee scoped so he shouldn’t practice until he is clearly ready to play. The offensive line is better with him on the field, and when he doesn’t play, it’s not good to say the least. The Dolphins don’t have a competent backup to replace Armstead for multiple games if need be. The Dolphins knew he had injury concerns when they signed him and at some point, it will take a toll on his body and overall play as he gets older. The Dolphins need to manage him to get him ready for the long grind of a season.  

Howard is another player the Dolphins should monitor, especially without Ramsey. The Dolphins don’t have an experienced guy without those two. Kohu did a good job playing last year, and without his contributions, the Dolphins don’t make the playoffs. Trill Williams and Nik Needham are working their way back from season ending injuries from a year ago. Needham is on the PUP list to start training camp, and who knows when he will come off of it? The Dolphins drafted Cam Smith in the second round, and he’s talented, but he will get tested as a rookie early on well see if he is up to the task. Noah Igbinoghene has been buried on the depth chart since being drafted in the first round in 2020, and this is his last year with the Dolphins. If they get anything out of him, it will be a shock. Howard is coming from a season in which he had nagging groin injuries and wasn’t himself. There is some talk that maybe he has started to decline and it’s a big year for him. With new defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio, switching to a more zone defense, it might help Howard not be as physical and playing man to man like previous years and putting pressure on his legs. If Howard is losing a step, the Dolphins have an out in his big contract next year, but that’s a story for another day. Howard is important to the success of this defense, and they need to make sure he is ready for the season.  

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is obviously the most important player because of the quarterback position. He has durability concerns and always has. When he is on the field with the weapons the offense has, he is as good as anyone in the league. In fact, before his second concussion that cost him the season, he was a possible MVP candidate. The backup position is up in the air as well. Skylar Thompson returned for his second season and did a decent job when coming in last year. Maybe he will do better in his second season. The Dolphins signed Mike White away from the New York Jets, and he hasn’t looked impressive in any of the off-season workouts or training camp yet. Maybe he gets better with preseason games, but he has always been an up-and-down quarterback. The Dolphins don’t need to play Tagovailoa during the preseason, so they should let those guys play. Tagovailoa also needs to get rid of the ball quicker and not hold the ball and take the extra hit when his first read isn’t open. 

The Dolphins have other important players that have had durability concerns, like Bradley Chubb, who the Dolphins gave up a first-round pick and a big contract to acquire. He has a ton of talent and pairing him with Jalen Phillips could make for quite the pass rush if they are on the field together, but Chubb had injuries after being acquired and they have to manage his workload in the summer. Running back Raheem Mostert has had knee issues and it caused him to miss a couple of games last year including the wild card game against the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins have to watch his workload.  

The Dolphins have a lot of talent and potential this season, but the biggest thing that concerns me is the health of the team. The roster has too many concerns. The Dolphins have to make sure these players and others are managed properly for the grind of the NFL that is starting now.