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2 posts from December 14, 2012

December 14, 2012

Bess, Misi out for Sunday vs. Jacksonville

The Dolphins will be without two starters, one on offense and one on defense, when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday.

The club this afternoon ruled wide receiver Davone Bess and linebacker Koa Misi as out.

Bess has been basically shut down this week with some sort of back injury. Misi also missed practice throughout the week with an ankle injury.

It's next man up:

For Misi, the Dolphins will probably substitute Jason Trusnik. Trusnik played when Misi left the game against San Francisco last week.

For Bess, the team may use more of Marlon Moore or Rishard Matthews.

The Jaguars are also going to limp into Sunday's game. That club announced that five players are out.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew, running back Rashad Jennings, cornerback Aaron Ross, defensive end George Selvie, and running back Jordan Todman are all out.

Wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who has missed time with a concussion, is probable for the Jags. Defensive back Jimmy Wilson, who missed last week's game against San Francisco with a hip injury, is probable for the Dolphins.

Dolphins irrelevant so it's time to change gears

Allow me to share parts of the NFL schedule this weekend:

New York Giants at Atlanta.

Green Bay at Chicago.

Denver at Baltimore.

Indianapolis at Houston.

Pittsburgh at Dallas.

San Francisco at New England.

And against this backdrop of interesting and profoundly meaningful matchups, the Dolphins and the Jaguars will play at Sun Life Stadium. The visiting team is 2-11. The home team is 5-8.

The rest of the NFL may not notice.

This is what it means to be irrelevant in December. It is the fourth time in as many years the Dolphins will be playing games in December that frankly do not matter.

And you wonder why I advocate making the most of this time of year by moving on to younger players?

Michael Egnew should play this game. I already shared with you yesterday that Miami's tight ends are sub par. So why protect them by continuing to play them?

Move on to Egnew to see if he has any promise, any spark, any ability to solve the problem that the guys who have been playing ahead of him -- Anthony Fasano and Charles Clay -- have not solved despite ample opportunity.

I'm not saying Egnew's the answer. But unless you play the kid, all he represents is a question.

Last week, finally, the club turned to Lamar Miller ahead of Daniel Thomas. But as with so many things this team does, the switch was done in incomplete fashion. Miller got only three carries while being in the game three quarters. Thomas got two carries when he finally got playing time in the fourth quarter.

If you're going to sit somebody, sit him. If you're going to work somebody, work him! Do not split the difference.

On Sunday, the Dolphins may not have receiver Davone Bess. He's battling a back problem. Even if he takes a shot and can play, he's not going to be 100 percent.


Give a healthy Rishard Matthews those snaps instead. Or play Marlon Moore 40 snaps.

Look, Bess is a solid guy. He's a good slot receiver. But he's not the answer at No. 2. He would dominate in a three-wide set (with either three WRs or two WRs and a threatening TE) as the slot. But he's instead had to play out of position much of this year.

And what did that pressing of Bess to a higher service accomplish? The Dolphins are 5-8. Their offense is still terrible. Everyone knows the team needs wide receiver help.

In other words, it didn't mask anything.

Time to think outside the box. Time to push the eaglets out of the nest. Maybe they'll fall to earth with a thud. But, who knows, maybe they'll soar.

Letting them stay safe in the nest without making any attempt at all?

It's a great way to stay irrelevant in December.