After a physical practice on Monday that left starting RB Jay Ajayi leaving the field, the depth at running for the Miami Dolphins has been exposed. It’s actually official, Ajayi sustained a concussion and is now required to go through the league’s concussion protocol. this means he may miss several practices.
Right now Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake are next in line on the depth chart. Neither player has come even close to being able to show they would be able to carry the load Ajayi was able to handle. Also with normal NFL running back wear and tear, the team may be in the market to add some depth at that position. Unfortunately there aren’t many options. DeAngelo Williams’ name has been tossed out there, but so far no movement on that front.
There is one player that’s available, who happens to be working out in South Florida right now who seemingly wants to get back into the NFL. That player is Tre Mason.
Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report was able to track down Mason, who last played for the Rams down in Ft. Lauderdale. Here’s some of what Dunne was able to get:
Mason says he’s available and happy, that any team with doubt should talk to him face to face.
Whenever a team does, it’ll need to answer a different question: Do you believe in Tre Mason?
He holds out his hand, palm up, toward the beach as if presenting it as a gift.
This water. That sun. Those palm trees.
“I came back to paradise,” Mason says, “back to my hometown.”
Football is almost always ripped away from players. Rarely does anyone choose to stay home when practice begins. But that’s precisely what Mason did before last season. The “why” is not simple or straightforward. He’s blisteringly honest about one reason (the Rams) and elusive on others (the off-field trouble).
Before venting, Mason spells it out: “J-O-B.” He knows playing running back in the NFL is work. But he also felt insulted. Betrayed, even. After he rushed for 765 yards and four scores in 12 games as a rookie, the Rams drafted Todd Gurley in 2015, and Mason was marginalized. Coaches, he said, would promise “X” number of carries, and then he’d spend practically all of Sunday standing idly on the sideline. He had three or fewer carries in seven games.
It’s interesting to see how the NFL castigates some players and accepts others for certain transgressions. In Mason’s case it looks like teams feel he’s not stable enough to play. However according to Mason, he hasn’t even been given a chance to tell his side of the story, which seems to carry some level of nuance after reading this story.
With all that said the Dolphins ought to at least invite Mason in for a workout. He has shown that he can be an effective and serviceable running back in this league. He’s certainly has at least equal abilities to the backs currently on the Dolphins’ roster. I’m not quite sure what the downside would be to at least give Mason a look. We will see what happens in the coming days, but one this is clear, the Dolphins need to either decide their current running backs are up to the challenge, or they need to look elsewhere. You can’t depend on just one guy in this day and age to remain healthy all 16 games and produce. Especially for a team like the Dolphins who have serious post season expectations.