The Dolphins have been off since Sunday. Vernon Carey has not been off. He's been getting treatment every day since he injured his ankle on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas and missed Sunday's game versus Oakland.
He's not 100 percent yet and his status remains uncertain this week as the Dolphins begin preparation today for the Philadelphia Eagles.
[Update: Carey returned to practice today but it is unknown whether he worked full or was limited in practice. That will be known later.]
In the meantime, John Jerry did some good things, did some bad things in his first start of the season. He was a solid C-plus during the game.
“He did some really good things," coach Tony Sparano said. "Three, four plays that John will watch and he’ll learn from because he hasn’t been out there for that extended period. But the one thing that John does very well is for a big guy he can move his feet really well and he has power. He moved some people [Sunday] in there at times. He did some good things on the perimeter, on the edges at times. I was pleased with what he did. I mean stepping in there, that’s what you’re asking those guys to do. Whether you’re number six or number seven, you get a chance to go up in there."
It's interesting that Jerry, a third-round draft pick in 2010, is still the "number six or number seven" lineman on the team. I told you last week the Dolphins want him, indeed, need him to step up and be among the best five. With Carey hitting 31 and unsigned for next season, the way good teams can handle this situation is simply passing the position to their up=and-coming high-round draftee.
Teams that miss on picks have to either pay a premium price to re-sign the veteran or another veteran or draft for the same position again.
So here's the deal: With the Dolphins sitting at 4-8 and pretty much out of any playoff contention, doesn't it behoove them for the long-range good of the team to develop Jerry as much as possible the rest of this season?
Doesn't it make sense to stay with Jerry and give him a chance to be good rather than going back to a player who is not yet completely healthy, is often inconsistent, and might not be an answer beyond this season?