In what has suddenly became quite the game this week, rookie QB’s could square off if Ryan Tannehill recovers quick enough from a leg injury suffered early last week vs. the Jets. Unfortunately, Tannehill will not have the pleasure of throwing in the direction of former Dolphin first rounder, Vontae Davis.
Vontae has been ruled out this week, along with rookie TE Coby Fleener due to injury, hopefully opening up the door for Miami to solidify their positioning in the AFC playoff race. The Dolphins have also made a move, as they have released WR Anthony Armstrong, now that Jabar Gaffney appears to have the offense down enough for him to start seeing more snaps. No word yet on who will replace Armstrong on the active 53 man roster.
MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
Reggie Bush RB
Reggie still hasn’t looked like his self from the first three weeks, but he has still contributed and kept most defenses from keying in on the rookie QB. This week he faces a less than stellar defense and on a fast track as well. As long as he can continue to get stronger after the sore knee he suffered in week three, he may be able to reach the 100 yard threshold he hasn’t hit since week two vs. Oakland. May also be possible that he sees the ball more if Matt Moore is taking the snaps and the Dolphin offense is a little more conservative.
Davone Bess WR
With Indy already having one of their corners out, and most likely their next best corner lining up against Brian Hartline, Bess could see a lesser corner spying him all day and no matter who is in at QB, Bess could become quite the checkdown option this week. Bess still has not scored a touchdown yet this season and will look to break through against the Colts.
Dan Carpenter K
After a very rough start to the season, Carpenter has started to return to his normal percentages and this week will be kicking inside a dome as the weather starts to impact and affect NFl Sundays. With the Colts defense not exactly on the strong side as of yet and the Miami offense moving decently but not too touchdown efficient, Dan may see a few extra field goals as he did last week in New York. With many leagues likely cutting him loose while he was struggling, it’s possible he could be available for any bye week needs.
QB Ryan Tannehill – Thigh/Knee bruise
Nothing structural but still painful, Tannehill was limited in practice however backup Matt Moore did say that he believe Ryan looked pretty good. If Tannehill is unable to go, Moore would get the start and has shown he is more than capable leading the Dolphin offense.
CB Richard Marshall – Back
Marshall is OUT for this week, missing his fourth straight game. Nolan Carroll will start in his place and look to continue his strong run of play the past month. Miami is 3-0 with Carroll starting for the injured Marshall.
DT Randy Starks –
Starks was injured briefly against the Jets but returned to action when McDaniel was also injured. Miami’s Dline could be a little thin if both are less than a hundred percent, 2012 seventh round draft pick Keestan Randall could see an increase in time as well as Miami may bring someone in in Armstrong’s place on the roster.
DT Tony McDaniel – various
McDaniel had just recently returned to action but has been a mainstay on this injury report for Miami this season. He is battling various nagging injuries and may just be shut down at some point to try and get him as healthy as can be for a tough stretch run starting in late November.
At the start of the year, I like many others probably, expected this to be a long season for the Dolphins. Rookie Head Coach, rookie QB, several question marks at key positions, it looked like it would be rough. I envisioned the Dolphins being able to wait until the trading deadline and dealing backup QB Matt Moore for an extra 2013 draft pick to a team that may have had an injury at the position and needed a viable body to come in and help them compete.
With Miami surprising so many this early in the season however, and Tannehill getting dinged up literally days before the trading deadline, it appears that wish will be for naught. On the bright side, Miami is going to make a run at a playoff spot this year, and early in the development of Tannehill, yet are still very solid in terms of draft choices for 2013 with a total of ten currently in their command. In 2008 the Dolphins made a surprise run at the playoffs and had a chance to build off that the following offseason, however they fell in love with their one trick pony Wildcat, and used a second round pick on a QB they thought would make the Wildcat even more dangerous. What ensued was disaster and the Dolphins once again fell back in the AFC hierarchy.
Hopefully this time around, the Dolphins can get their feet wet in the playoffs, give Tannehill (and coach Philbin for that matter) some needed experience in that type of environment, and then have a very strong draft that will fill and solidify the holes on the roster as well as deepen their core for years to come.