« Owner: No punishment for Ireland, case closed | Main | Saturday mini-camp practice observations »

The sad tale of Justin Smiley's shoulder injury

[Before I begin today I simply want to thank you, the readers, for your loyalty to this blog. April was a record-breaking month here. This blog enjoyed nearly 1.2 million page views in April. Yes, I said million. It is amazing to me that so many of you are so hungry for Dolphins information, analysis and opinion. It is humbling that you come here to satisfy that hunger. Thanks again.]

There is a good reason the Dolphins asked Justin Smiley not to show up for the offseason conditioning program when it began in late March: The team is concerned their left guard would blow out his already weakened right shoulder by merely lifting weights.

That's how bad things have gotten for the gritty, wily, tough, often injured Smiley.

The Dolphins have been trying to trade Smiley for over a month. No other NFL team has shown enough interest in Smiley to convince the Dolphins to trade their starting left guard of the last two seasons. Miami doesn't simply want to give him up for an afterthought sixth- or seventh-round pick.

But there is probably no choice. No team has offered anything higher. And I would predict no other team will offer anything higher anytime soon.

So Smiley is still on the team -- for now.

"I'm not sure where that whole thing is right now," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said Friday. "And I'm not really skirting it. I really am not. At this particular time, right now, we are not sure and he is a member of my football team right now."

He may be a member of the team but that could change before the Dolphins report for the mandatory full-squad mini-camp at the end of May. By then the team hopes to have the issue resolved one way or the other.

The solutions?

It is clear the Dolphins intend to go in a direction that doesn't include Smiley. The club has told him he still might be brought back for 2010, but who is kidding whom here?

Smiley's shoulder is shot. The Dolphins know it. The San Francisco 49ers knew it when Smiley signed with Miami as an unrestricted free agent in 2008. Smiley missed the final eight games of the season with the shoulder that required surgery in 2007. He injured the shoulder again in 2009 and missed one game and was a backup in three others because of that injury.

The 2007 surgery apparently didn't go very well. Smiley, according to two sources, has lost strength in the shoulder over the past two years. He often struggles to lift his right arm over his head and has lost some of the punch and explosion generated at the shoulder.

That wouldn't be a problem for a school teacher. But Smiley makes his living as an NFL offensive linemen. He is supposed to push and punch at 300-pound defensive players and the torque for that is generated at the shoulder and elbow. For Smiley, the shoulder isn't generating the necessary torque.

The problem for Smiley is also that lifting weights to strengthen the shoulder isn't really the solution. Lifting extremely heavy weights, you see, could cause another injury to the shoulder.

So while he could come back and probably play and contribute at his current weakended condition, the Dolphins and probably even Smiley recognize he is on borrowed time. More games or more strenuous weight lifting would probably land Smiley on another injured list.

That is the reason he is on the trade block. That is the reason no one has jumped at the opportunity to trade for him.

Simply, for the Dolphins, the future at left guard once belonged to Justin Smiley. Now it belongs to rookie John Jerry. And Smiley?

He may have played his final game for the Dolphins.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The sad tale of Justin Smiley's shoulder injury:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I agree Smiley will be here till at least June 1st more than likey. By then hopefuylly the trifecta will have a better understanding on where they are gonna be at with him, and I know Justin understands that side of the biz.

I'd sure like to know what the team doctors think, obviously it isn't all that good.
Hope we can get at least a conditional 6th that improves with playing time.

Lets put Smiley in a package to Chicago for Olsen (they need a guard and we need a catching TE, and Chicago don't use catching TE) we can put Crowder or torbor and haynos in the package

That's great...Was there a rookie mini camp today? Because, it doesn't appear that way.

Looks like Smiley will be released. If any team thought that he was worthy in a trade, it would have been done at draft time. Also if the Phins believed that Smiley could come back from this injury,and play without risk. Would Jerry still have been our third round choice? Wouldn't we have waited untill later in the draft to go after a guard?

Good job Armando.

The posts criticizing Armando need to stop. If there's news to report, he reports it. He is pretty good about publishing stories multiple times each day, and he has no incentive to write stories on bland issues. If there's football news we hear about it.

With Jerry and Cognito stepping in at guards were good to go.
With those two in the line up our offensive line averages a tad under 6-5 325.
I know numbers aint everything, but that's 5 talented mean and nasties.
Our running game is going to kill.

Uh oh....someone wasn't invited to dolphins minicamp...

I'm stoked that the Phins offered a shot to Dan Beaudin from Montana. He was offered a try-out by the Vikings as well, they told him he would have to pay his own way, He is a longshot to make the team, even as a practice squad player. But he started 3 years for the Griz, made some big catches, and is a tough, tough kid.

Mando me and the rest of the dolfan nation appreciate eveything you do.. Keep up the good work!!

Interesting stuff. To all the dorks wanting news from the rookie minicamp, here it is: A bunch of rookies ran around in shorts and helmets and did pretty much nothing.

On the real news front, Salguero tells us the real deal with Smiley.

Folks with high school GEDs should stop telling the columnist how to cover the team he's covered for 20 years or whatever it's been.

Excellent column by Mando on the site. I'm shocked he didn't link to it in his post.


by the way Mando, Jennifer Lopez es una sucia.

PR GeeK,

I love it when some dumb a s s starts running his mouth and doesn't know what he's talking about.
There were a few talkings heads(not armando) tweeted from mini-camp and reported on it afterwards.
There was actually quite a few noteworthy things that took place.

Thanks for showing us your stupidity!

Great inside information as always Mando. And congratulation on your million reader march in April. Haha.

Mando, I read your column about emerging from the winter of discontent. Good stuff in my opinion. Thankfully it is over.

But I'm more than pissed off that Jennifer LOWpez is able to be connected to the Dolphins because she is a total loser. Thank you for exposing her.

On the real news front, Salguero tells us the real deal with Smiley.

Posted by: PR Geek | May 01, 2010 at 12:45 AM

You must have wasted your "higher" education dufus. We all knew about Smiley for months.

Maybe you should ask your school for a refund. They obviously ripped you off.

Great post mando, i've been wondering why the team was having such a hard time trading smiley pie, thanks for the update. Whats the skinny on the rookie mini camp earlier dude?

One point two million? Dang, boy. You get a penny for every one of those hits? That's a lotta coin. Holla!

Got my rook mini-camp news from the Dolphins official website under the Aquavision tab.
Good presser vids of Sparano, Odrick, Misi, and Edds.
I was really impressed by them all, especially Edds. He seems ready to always prove any doubters wrong. He could be the next Oferdahl, Zach Thomas in the making :)

There was also a cool interview vid with Cognito.
He talks like he is really ready to get after it. Hope he keeps the foolish penalties under control.

Oh in 7 on 7 drills ex Razorback QB Andy Dick made some nice throws to James Pruitt, exciting stuff :)

SMILEY PIE ANYONE? (problem child)

It has been a very crazy off-season.I never heard about J low saying that.Crazy.

Minicamp,Minicamp, MINICAMP, ANYONE????
Surely they were there today, weren't they???
Must've looked so bad that its not even worth reporting about!!!!

For all the "discontent" that went on, the Trifecta managed to make some great moves.
So far we've added 4 starters in Cognito, Jerry, Dansby and Marshall.
Odrick has been "penciled" in as the starter at RDE and I got a good feeling about Edds and Reshad Jones.
Despite all the distractions, I think it's safe to say the Trifecta's getting it done.

I agree with J Low too... Heh heh, tho not a good thing to mix football and politics

Yeppers, a young and hopefully talented nucleus is taking place on Defense, and along with a young blossoming Offense, this team could soon begin challenging for Super Bowl titles for years to come.


It's the first I heard of it too. It is crazy. I think Palin's hot.....for a politician.
Still, I'm not upset about it. I kind of like this new raunchy image the Dolphins are developing.
To tell the truth, in this day and age, I'm sick of the "nice guy/politically correct" Cam Camoron Image.
It's time to put the NFL on notice. You come down to Miami, you better be ready for a smashmouthed beatdown!

i didnt even notice Practically Retarded Greeks comment there, Good one PR Greek!Maybe then u can indulge the rest of us about practically nothing for the next three months...*lol*

Odinseye you don't know your ass from a hole in the ground so do us all a favor and go ply your stupidity on some other fan=based blog that waits for Mando to post so they can simply copy and paste.

And while you're waiting for big boy Salguero to write, why don't you brush up on your facts because you don't even know how little you know. You are one sad puppy.

No doubt that John Jerry was drafted as a replacement Smiley. I don't see where the Dolphins really wanted to get rid of Smiley. They must have, after all, realized when they brought him here in 08 that the shoulder problem was there. I believe they were hoping for a better outcome for the 07 surgery that is reported here as a failure.
Smiley is one of the better "pulling" Guards there are. And I believe Tony Sparano just plain likes the guy. It could be true that if there was any way he could rehab the shoulder and get back on the field, that like Ferguson is getting his time to rehab and recover from a suspension... they would give the same to Smiley. I do not believe the shoulder is fixable, its degenerative and everyone is now at grips with that, sucks, but degenerative injuries have taken many a good player out of the game.
Jerry will be a monster replacement, I wonder about the shift from right side to left, but I give it a better chance of success then if he where a Tackle doing the same thing.
As afr as trading Smiley, once again, why would another team take on the same issue we are facing with Smiley? If he were still in that sort of condition, I believe we would have kept him. He really was a very good player and its a shame this (Career threatening) injuries happens to many good players. I believe we are well covered at the position with Jerry.

Getter Done Phins,

Have you looked at the schedule very closely?

If you have, how many games do you think we win this year?

I know it's early for predictions, I'm just curious as what other people are thinking.

I had a date tonight and just got home! No, I didn't get laid. :(

Anyway, here is my report from rookie camp:

A bunch of guys that will probably not make this or any team ran around in shorts and helmets and didn't block, didn't tackle, didn't do anything that really will matter in September.

Do you knobheads now understand why NOBODY is writing ANYTHING about this crap? Even I understand it's not newsworthy. And I suck!


Interesting stuff. I went to college with Smiley. Good man. Drank too much, tho.

This is a shame. But he's made a ton of money so I don't feel too bad for him.

Congratulations on the millions Armando


Your post was so stupid and non- football related I don't even know what to say?

Then only thing in your post with any type of substance at all was your accusation that I don't know my facts.
Well, I've posted here alot longer than you and it's all on record. So please copy and paste where I've screwed up the facts. I'll be waiting. Until then, do us all a favor and STFU with the non-football related personal attacks.

Thankyou in advance for your cooperation.

PR Geek Or Omar or Westen Fin, whichever u prefer, see this is a perfect example of why "LITTLE" Kids should have jobs for the weekend so they dont get to play alongside with mommy at the computer all nite but i do agree with one thing however...U DO SUCK!!! Go to bed!!!


I thought Smiley was Pro-Bowl bound there a couple of times. It is too bad about the injuries. I thought he was great when healthy.
I thought Jerry played at right guard as a senior. I read today in the Herald that he played right Tackle. I don't know if the prospect site or the Herald is right.
Either way, where ever he ends up, the guy looks like the reak deal.

I'm still suspect over moving Randy over from D-end to NT, He doesn't seem to be the type to stuff the hole inside and get push up the middle of the line and stuff the run. I like him better on the outside personally.



The guys on here cutting on peoples education saying the REAL news is about Smiley.
Us REAL fans have known about Smileys plight for awhile.
I know the first rookie camp isn't the biggest deal in the world but I found out a couple of things that I thought were important.
The first being Jerry playing on the left side. That's big. It shows what the Trifecta thinks of the guy right off the bat.
The second thing is Reshad being played at FS.
I have always thought Reshad would make a better FS than SS. At least for now anyway.

I'm pumped!

Odin, im hearing good things about Jones, NfL Networks Bucky Brooks and Rod Woodson were saying he could be a draft steal if he can just stay more diciplined when it comes to going for the big hits in games. I also say keep an eye on Nolan Carrol at FS as well, his stock dropped in the draft due to a broken leg in college but was also projected as another top pick DB.

I believe Jerry will do fine at just about any O-line spot they plug him into. They may have to work with him on some of the lateral movement and blocking. But that's okay, Its not like he has not heard all the terminology and they way the line works his whole football career. His size and athleticism will keep him afloat long enough to get his mind wrapped around the show.
I'm with you about Smiley... I freakin' hate to see any good player, Even what may have become a pro-bowl caliber guy, as you said... go out early with injuries. One thing time has taught me though. A shoulder injury, at least a bad one... is devastating to an O-line guy. Its like a D-line guy with a lower back issue or a receiver with wicked turf toe... a death sentence to their career....sucks!

I think we can go 10-6 as long as we don't have a brain fart against Buffalo and we split against the Pats and Jets.Also, if we can avoid the injury bug we should be in good shape.Has anyone heard any more about Santonio Holmes?

Carrol looks like a guy that will be good for depth. He's fast, has corner cover skills, and is big enough to play either safety spot. The problem is the leg. He actually broke it twice.
As for Jones I'm hoping dicipline is something he improves on. I don't think it's as big an issue as everyone makes it out to be.
I think alot of it came from 1 game against Oklahoma ST. last year. He shut Dez down everytime he ran a route on his side of the field. Every time except once that is and it was a bad one. Dez ran a slant from the left side and Jones tried to undercut the route right at the goal line. It was ugly, he totally whiffed.
You know what they say though, once burnt, twice shy(hopefully).

Thanks for making sure NO ONE wants to trade for Smiley now, Mando. Good job of really nailing the coffin closed!

I'm kidding but totally serious at the same time.


All i know is that im so glad miami didn't go after this guy at all. He's rex's problem and u can definately see why the steelers were willing to part with him for a 5th roung pick. Ppl bag on marshall with his off field issues but so far its been santonio thats looked the part of the fool.

ALright, time for sleep****Phin Out

I haven't heard anything else on Holmes.
What I've been wondering is how his prior and current suspensions might affect this issue.
Does anyone think that getting thrown off an airliner constitutes a violation of the NFL's personal conduct code?
As for our schedule I was thinking a guaranteed 9-7. Like you said, no injury bugs, a lucky bounce here and there, 11-5 wouldn't be a reach!

Suposedly Holmes didn't want to turn off his IPod when then plane was landing. The stewardess got a little heated, Holmes gave her the do you know who I am speech, and that was it. The plane landed, and no charges were filled. I wonder what he was rocking out to that he wouldn't turn off the tunes? Probably something like Live Dead. I wouldn't want to turn that off either!

I heard it was when he was boarding the plane. He was asked to turn it off until the plane was in the air. He refused to comply and had to be "escorted" off the plane. I don't know which way it really happened.
Your version makes it sound like a non-issue though. He dodge another bullet for NOW:)

Odin, yeah I'm not quite sure. I had heard this on the drive today, and I'm fairly sure this is what went down. Why would a player who has heat on him act a fool? All for what? Fly private if you have to listen to music the whole time. Stop being a Di^k. Anyway, he is Jabba The Huts problem now. I hope distrubing a flight is punishable by the long arm of Goddell.(even though he was cleared of all wrong doings)

Mando is the shizzle my nizzle. We need more reporters like him in so fla, I wish he would kick hyde in his taint.

Mando, great report on Smiley. But didn't mini camp start today? I wanna hear about the newbies!!!

So wait, was Dez Bryant's mom a prostitute?


If my mom was a prostitute and I was 6'2 and could throw a baseball 99 mph,I would give her the world.Ya,I'm a b-ball fan too.

I have a shoulder injury from high school football. It still hurts. I don't think those things ever quite heal right. It must be near impossible to block 300 pound d-lineman with a bum shoulder.

Are this weekends camp open to the public?

the last guy we got anything for was jason taylor to the redskins! he still had value. all the others( porter,gibril,matt roth,akin etc.) we got zip! may have to trade them when they still have value.

Hey where are Aloco and Justin the racists?

Quick question for you two… If Roethlisberger was not white, would you guys would be screaming racism. I bet you would say stupid things like, “Goddell is such a racist, he suspended Roethlisberger 6 games and he didn’t even get arrested.” “I bet if he were white this would be a non-issue” You two are pathetic.

I didn’t see you guys make any posts about the racist question Rob Konrad was asked when coming into the NFL. You know the one that actually dealt with race. They asked him, “if I thought I could succeed as a white running back in the NFL.” Its cool, you two are hypocrites.

Aloco, remember DD posted on the Konrad post, “the black man is under attack by the white man ,it's unbelievable” and you agreed? I didn’t see you defend Konrad at all, instead you said white people were racist.

In reality, you two are the racists and everyone on the blog can see it. Stereotyping and lumping all whites together. Your mother should be ashamed, you dumb @ss donkey.



1 2 3 »

The comments to this entry are closed.