During Sunday’s victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Daniel Thomas took a handoff and ran hard around the end, colliding with two Jaguars defenders in what looked like a hard-fought gain. But, as Dolphins fans have become too accustomed to seeing already from Thomas, the second-year back got up slowly and limped to the sideline.
The MRI results are not in yet, but it is known that Thomas suffered a right knee injury on the play. In a backfield with a lot of question marks going forward, this injury only adds to the uncertainty.
MDD Staff Writer: Garrett Baker
Thomas is a talented runner, and has shown flashes of promise since being taken in the second round of the 2011 draft. But he has struggled to stay healthy, which is a big issue in today’s NFL.
This year Thomas has 325 yards on the ground and 156 yards receiving, even though he’s missed some time to injury and is second in the pecking order behind Reggie Bush.
Bush has some question marks of his own, as his contract expires at the end of this season and the Dolphins haven’t come out and made an offer to keep him yet. There’s no denying Bush’s talent, but he isn’t an elite running back, and should not be paid like one.
The Dolphins will have to make a decision this off season in regards to the direction they want to take with their backs. If they can keep Bush at a reasonable price, then by all means they should do that. But I’m not sure Bush won’t demand a bigger contract, and if that is the case, Miami needs to let him walk.
Lamar Miller is a big part of the reason why I think Miami can afford to let Bush walk. Miller, a rookie who has shown big-play potential in limited action this year, is waiting in the wings.
If Miami keeps Bush, they need to try and move Thomas while he still has some value. His injury concerns are just too much at this point to justify keeping him while a healthy Miller sits behind him. They could package Thomas with a draft pick to move up and let some other team be frustrated by him.
Even if Miami doesn’t keep Bush, I’d still be in favor of trading Thomas. The success of late-round picks around the league has me thinking Miami would be best off getting rid of Bush and Thomas, and then scooping up a back in the fifth or sixth round and platooning him with Miller.
Vick Ballard was taken in the fifth round, Alfred Morris in the sixth, and Daryl Richardson in the seventh. All have had very good rookie seasons, and give me hope that Miami could do the same thing next year.