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Miami Dolphins among healthiest teams in NFL right now

The Miami Dolphins have spent significant resources on sports science and sports medicine and technology, added also a handful of specialists from a nutritionist to a sports science analyst to a sports performance director. All with one goal in mind:

Keep players playing at optimal levels.

The Dolphins, simply stated, are trying to avoid injuries because those are often the single greatest reason teams fail -- just ask the Arizona Cardinals last season.

So owner Stephen Ross, a big fan of thinking outside the box and pushing the envelope and generally embracing other clichés that mean he'll test orthoxy, has put up the resources (money) to let his football team try these untraditional approaches.

So is Ross getting his money's worth?

Is it working?

Well, so far this preseason, yes. Definitely.

According to a league-wide study conducted by NJ.com with the help of reporters who cover every team (including myself) the Dolphins are  among the least injured teams in the NFL right now.

They are the least injured team in the AFC East.


The Dolphins have one player (Louis Delmas) out for the season. The Patriots have four. The Jets have four. The Bills have two.

The Dolphins have only one starter currently injured -- Delmas again. No, DeVante Parker is not fully ready to play. No, Branden Albert has not played this preseason. But both are practicing. Albert is expected to play in the regular-season opener. Parker is expected to be available for the regular-season opener and coaches will decide whether to activate him on game day or not.

The other AFC East teams?

The Jets have four injured starters, with tight end Jace Amaro being added to the list Tuesday. The Bills have three injured starters right now. The Patriots have two injured starters now.

Just prior to the Week 3 preseason game, the Jets had suffered 17 preseason injuries, tying them with Baltimore for most in the NFL, and they added to that with Amaro.

The Patriots had 13 preseason injuries. The Bills had eight preseason injuries.

And while the Dolphins had four players injured -- Jason Fox, Koa Misi, Delmas, and Parker -- at the time the survey, Misi and Parker are practicing again.

Only two NFL teams had four or fewer injuries they were dealing with at the time of the survey. The Bucs were one.

The Dolphins were the other.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Jets, Ravens, Jaguars, Saints, Panthers, Giants and Patriots all had injured players numbering in the teens. The Panthers had a whopping six starters injured.

The bottom line is so far the data suggests all the resources the Dolphins are pouring into keeping their players healthy is working.