September 29, 2016

Shocking! Dolphins players with injury histories are injured

CINCINNATI -- The Miami Dolphins injury report this week is a cynic's dream.

The cynic looks at the group of players on Miami's report that includes a third of the team and says, "I told you so."

And you know what? It is hard to dismiss the criticism because so many of the injured Dolphins this week came to the Dolphins or have been with the Dolphins with a history for injuries.

Running back Arian Foster is the most prominent name on Miami's injury list. He is a poster child of injury history. He's missed 19 games in the past five seasons, and tonight will mark his 20th missed game in that span. He missed 12 games last season and has missed two of four this season. He's had hamstring, groin and last year's Achilles' injury.

Who is surprised Foster is hurt? No one.

So the Dolphins have no excuses for relying on him.

Misi is out with a neck injury. And that means he will not play all 16 games this season. That's expected because he has not played all 16 games in a season since his rookie season in 2011.

Misi finished the 2015 season on injured reserve. He finished the 2011 season on injured reserve.

Misi has battled back and abdomen injuries (2015), a serious ankle injury (2014), a knee injury (2013) and a shoulder injury (2011).

Koa Lisiate Foti Analeseanoa Misi has battled almost as many injuries as there are letters in his full name.

Jelani Jenkins is listed as doubtful for this game. He has a groin injury. He had a knee injury in August that required surgery. He has not missed games this year yet, but his history suggests he will because he hasn't played a full season since his rookie year in 2013 when he was only playing on special teams.

Jenkins had recurring ankle issues in 2015 that found him starting games he could not finish because of the injury.

And while that credits the player for being tough and resilient enough to make it to the game despite the injury, it actually hurts the team because coaches make plans and adjust their inactive lists, counting on the player to contribute. Then he goes out and suddenly the plans have to be shredded.

Interestingly, that is exactly the situation the Dolphins find themselves in tonight with Jenkins. Frankly, I'd sit him.

Mike Pouncey is about to miss his fourth game of the season because of a hip injury suffered August 19. And I reported this was likely on Sept. 16. Pouncey's season debut will come on Oct. 9 against Tennessee, barring another setback.

Pouncey has not played a full season since 2012.

Last year Pouncey battled foot, hip and knee issues. The foot injury ended his season prematurely. In 2014, Pouncey needed surgery on his other hip in the offseason and that forced him to miss the first five weeks of the season. in 2013, Pouncey had an issue with food poisoning that forced him to miss time.

The concern now is the hip. He's had surgery on both the left and right hip. And his latest hip injury -- to the left hip again -- now suggests that side is a problem.

Tight end Jordan Cameron will miss this game with a concussion. The Dolphins are hopeful Cameron can return to the lineup by the Oct. 9 home game against Tennessee. But to say that is the plan is not accurate.

No one knows for certain when Cameron will be back because only the neurological tests that players must take and pass to get back on the field will determine that.

And Cameron, a smart, thoughtful guy who has a family to think about, is almost certainly not going to rush the matter. He's not going to tell doctors he feels good if he knows he's not yet 100 percent -- something some players actually do.

The Dolphins signed Cameron in 2015 knowing concussions were an issue with him. Jordan had three concussions in three seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

He suffered a concussion in practice in 2012 and missed two games. He suffered a concussion in Week 15 of 2013 and missed Week 16. He suffered a concussion in Week 8 of 2014 and missed three games.

Cameron has also had shoulder, rib and hamstring issues since 2011. The hamstring issue in '11 forced him to miss eight games. But it is the concussion injuries that shout concern.

Miami gambled and won on the issue in 2015. Cameron played all 16 games. But that was the first time in his NFL career he was able to complete a full season.

Miami's luck, and that seems to be all it was, has apparently run out on that front. 

The Dolphins have other players on this week's injury report that raise red flags. That injury report, which included 15 injured players, had names we've seen on injury reports in the past.

DeVante Parker has had hamstring injuries this entire season and dating back into the offseason. That comes after the foot problems he had in college and with the Dolphins last season. He's expected to play tonight despite being questionable with a hamstring injury, but the point is he has a hamstring injury. Again.

Kiko Alonso missed his entire second season in 2014 with a knee injury. He missed time last season with the Eagles because of a knee injury and a concussion. He has so far been healthy with the  Dolphins but he is questionable tonight with a hamstring injury. Yes, he's playing.

But as with all these guys, the injury history is the injury history.

And it should not be overlooked.

September 03, 2013

Watkins responds to Roseman comments

Danny Watkins seems like a good guy. Whether he's a good player, we shall see eventually.

I know this, the Dolphins' time with Josh Samuda was played out. Samuda got a very good chance to win a starting job this preseason. It was probably a better chance than he deserved because one player (John Jerry) got hurt and another player (Lance Louis) was fighting to come back from knee surgery. Samuda couldn't take advantage of the opportunity.

And so in steps Watkins, a former first round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, who was cut from that team a couple of days ago after only two seasons with the club. It seems like a good move.

But there are questions.

If you read what Eagles GM Howard Roseman said about Watkins in the last post you know it's quite an indictment when an NFL GM says a player has shown little toughness.

I asked Watkins his thoughts about Roseman's comment.

"I got to Philadelphia and it was just a rough go from the get-go," Watkins said. "I felt like it just got broken down to bones and never got built back. It was more a mental thing. I was very disappointing to myself that it never panned out the way it could. Because I know I can play physical and tough football but it just never ... I think it was more a mental aspect than anything.

"These last three years have been such a whirlwind. it was great opportunity to play in the NFL. My college career was great, I love Baylor and what they did for me there. Looking back, six years ago if you had told me I'd be in the position I am today, I would have laughed at you. I'm very fortunate and very blessed to be where I am today."

Watkins picked the Dolphins over another NFL team, he said. He declined to specify what team. I asked him if he believes this is his last chance to find an NFL home.

"I'm very excited to be here and I know Miami has a, well the past history with the players here" Watkins said. "So this is huge for me. Like I said, it's the most exciting thing that's happened to me and I'm going to take full advantage of the opportunity and make the best of it."

The Dolphins asked Watkins to work at snapping the football some on Monday. Is he a viable backup center?

It doesn't sound like it right away.

"I was a tackle in college. and guard in the NFL," he said.

Watkins said he's comfortable playing either left or right guard. 

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin declined to say who the backup center is now that Samuda is gone. He cited competitive reasons for declining to answer.

May 21, 2010

Next chapter for Thomas: Fatherhood, coaching?

It is a logical next step for Zach Thomas and he has obviously considered it: Coaching.

But the perfect opportunities aren't necessarily there right now and he doesn't need the money and has a new four-month-old son, Christian Zachery Thomas, he'd like to spend some time with first.

So Thomas probably won't be jumping right into coaching immediately. But would Thomas eventually like to be reconnected with football, perhaps as a coach or scout or something?

“I do," he said. "Right now because of my time commitment I am doing a lot of other things, but I have to stay involved somehow. But I know if I was a coach somewhere, maybe I should start at a high school level or something because I think that I would be even more extreme. When it comes to watching tape, never thinking I got enough, getting everybody prepared. I think I might give too much information, you know, when you get out there with players and they have too much information they can’t even think.

"I love the game, I want to stay involved, but I want to be a better husband because I wouldn’t come home much and that’s just the truth, and [wife] Maritza knows that. I thought about radio, but sometimes I am an emotional guy and I don’t have [PR vice president] Harvey Greene right next to me to give me a cool down period right after a game, because you all came rushing to me after we lose and you all knew you were going to get a quote. So I feel like Harvey and them would box out and try to give me a cool down period, because that sometimes gets me in trouble, letting emotions get into it and then you look back and go, ‘Man I shouldn’t have said those type of things’.

"That is probably why I won’t do radio but I want to stay involved with something I am good at. You only have to be good at one thing and (football) is one thing I am good at, and now I am going to move on and see if there is anything else I am good at."

Thomas had an audition to work for the Dolphins new flagship radio station but the same team-employed genius who didn't want me on because I wasn't enough of a homer for his taste -- truth is apparently not a virtue for some folks -- also passed on Thomas because, well, some people simply don't get it.

The Dolphins do have a linebacker coach vacancy they could fill if they wished. But that's appartently not a possibility right now.

Would be sweet though, wouldn't it?

Just sayin'. 

[BLOG NOTE: Come back later today because I'll have an offensive line related post up.]