Reshad Jones is going to be suspended the first four games of this NFL season because he violated the NFL's policy on performance enhancing substances but when I talked to him Tuesday he was confident the suspension isn't going to derail his 2014 season.
That's because Jones expects to regain his starting job as soon as he returns.
And he expects to go to the Pro Bowl.
"I'm going to do everything I need to do to make sure I still have a good season for this team," Jones said. "[The suspension] is a tough thing but this isn't going to change anything. I still expect to be in the Pro Bowl at the end of the year."
[Update: The NFL tells me Jones is most definitely not going to the Pro Bowl. In the year a player is notified of and serves a suspension under the performance enhancing substances policy, he is ineligible for selection to the Pro Bowl or to receive any other honors or awards from the league or the NFL Players Association, according to a league spokesman.]
After he plays in Thursday's preseason finale against St. Louis, Jones will become something of a ghost to the Dolphins for four games. "I know I can't practice, can't lift, can't go to meetings, can't go to games," Jones said.
So in the meantime, the Dolphins will replace Jones with Jimmy Wilson at safety. The move and suspension is not a good thing for the team, particularly with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on the schedule in the opener.
Moving Wilson to safety means the team is now starting a part-time player because Wilson normally handles the nickel duties for the Dolphins. So now he's out of position and playing fulltime. And then the Dolphins must replace Wilson at the nickel spot.
That job will either go to Jamar Taylor or Will Davis. The Dolphins have not settled on one or the other yet but either way, Miami is replacing the more experienced Wilson at nickel with an inexperienced player in either Taylor or Davis.
None of this suggests the Dolphins getting stronger.
But what if Wilson at safety and one of the second-year corners in the lineup is a revelation? What if they're really, really good?
The Dolphins will have a decision to make when Jones returns.
But not according to Jones. He expects his job back when he returns. Like immediately.
"I know my guys in the room have a lot of respect for me as the starter," Jones said. "I know that's what will happen when I get back."
Obviously Jones will be away from the team and facility. But he said he's already hired a personal trainer and facility to keep him trained and ready to return as soon as he is eligible.
"I'll have to catch up on game plans," Jones said. "But I'll be ready to play. I'll have fresh legs and be in great shape and be redy to go."