The Dolphins are on the field and practicing. Vernon Carey is on the field but is not practicing.
The club's starting right guard is missing his second consecutive day of preparation for Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders. Tomorrow is a big day. If Carey can do some work, his chances of playing will look much better. If he cannot practice tomorrow ... don't bank on him being ready for Sunday's game even though he said Monday he'd be ready to play.
And that would test Miami's offensive line depth. And that would test John Jerry.
Jerry is the first guy up at both right guard and tackle so if Carey cannot go, Miami would call on their second-year player.
Between you and me, it's time to call on Jerry anyway. The fact is Carey played well in spurts against the Cowboys and has done that most of this season. But the truth is Carey has been playing in spurts -- and only in spurts -- since 2009.
And the Dolphins have tolerated the inconsistency.
The team gave Carey a big contract after 2008 and the player hasn't been the same since. This season, the inconsistency led to his move from right tackle to right guard and a pay cut. Carey, 30, is unsigned for next year.
If Jerry were a good player, I'd tell you this is definitely Carey's final year in Miami. How much playing in spurts can one team take?
But the problem is Jerry so far hasn't been good enough to play in spurts himself. He started last year but it wasn't pretty. This year, he hasn't been better than Carey if you believe coaches. So he's sat and learned.
Well, it is December so it's time to stop sitting and show what you've got, in my opinion. Perhaps Carey not being available would be a blessing. Perhaps it would be an opening for Jerry to show all that he's learned and how far he's come. Obviously, it would benefit the Dolphins to know if Jerry is capable of filling the hole that an unsigned Carey would leave after this season.
Isn't that how it's supposed to work? The draft is supposed to fill in gaps and offer an orderly succession from an older veteran such as Carey to an up-and-comer such as Jerry. If the Jerry pick is correct, this would be a no-brainer.
Of course, not every pick goes quite according to plan. Already Jerry is biding his time on the bench while other players drafted behind him have become starters for their teams.
NaVorro Bowman in San Francisco, Major Wright in Chicago, Colt McCoy in Cleveland and the killer, Jimmy Graham in New Orleans, were picked after Jerry in the third round of the 2009 draft. All are starters for their teams. Graham is on his way to the Pro Bowl. Bowman is similarly a beast.
That is not opinion, but fact.
Here's another fact: The Dolphins need Jerry to show up before the start of the offseason. If he does, it would fill a hole for a team that has more holes than premium draft picks. If he doesn't, well, then the Dolphins might have to address the position again, either in the draft or free agency.
The Dolphins addressing the offensive line. We've been there before, haven't we?
Sunday's game between the Dolphins and Raiders at Sun Life Stadium will be shown on local television. The club along with CBS-4 have guaranteed to buy any unpurchased tickets, thus guaranteeing a sellout necessary to televise the game.
Fans living within 75 miles of the stadium that otherwise would be affected by a local blackout, will now have the game available to them on CBS-4.
I am told that Brandon Marshall will address his taxi cab incident that is all over the news after it was broken by the South Florida Times Wednesday evening.
Marshall is expected to say the issue has been resolved and is something that should not be blown out of proportion. Too late. Newspapers and websites from South Florida to South Dakota, from South Carolina to Southern California, have run with the story that on its face seems harmless.
Problem is, and Marshall will someday learn, nothing that involves him and being handcuffed in the back seat of a police cruiser will be deemed harmless.
Understand that the plan is for Marshall to address the issue. But Marshall is unpredictable. So we'll see. Check back later.