The Dolphins received devastating news regarding their rookie middle line backer on Friday Raekwon McMillan. The 2nd round pick out of Ohio State will miss the entire season due to an ACL tear. He sustained the injury within the first three minutes of the Dolphins’ pre season game against Atlanta, when he banged knees with Deon Lacey on punt coverage. McMillan never got a chance to play a single snap on defense.
To say that the Summer has been tough to Miami would be a vast understatement. Last week Ryan Tannehill went down with another knee injury. LB Koa Misi is out for the year with a neck injury. Left Guard Ted Larsen will be out for a while with a torn bicep and RB Jay Ajayi is still out with a concussion.
The McMillan injury is tough because he was expected to be the team’s starting middle linebacker, which is forcing the coaching staff and management to figure out other options. The two remaining starters Kiko Alonzo and Lawrence Timmons have the ability to be shifted over to the middle, but obviously this injury means the position is going to need more depth.
Now the focus will shift over to management and Mike Tannenbaum will have to figure out what his move will be. A few names that’s circulating the rumor wire are Rey Maualuga, Brandon Spikes and Daryl Washington at least according to the Miami Herald. Also Donald Butler and Kelvin Shepherd have been mentioned since they both played for the Dolphins in the past.
Another name being circulated is Stephen Tulloch who has already an established relationship with Matt Burke. However Tulloch is currently retired and may remain that way.
Obviously a trade is on the table when these sort of things happen, but that isn’t the only option. The team could wait until September 2nd when the 53-man roster deadline hits. There are going to be a lot of players hitting the waiver wire and the Dolphins may be able to get someone then.
Either way this was just another tough injury to a guy who was supposed to make an immediate impact with the team as a rookie. The pressure is now on Adam Gase and company to do more with less, which in the NFL is something to can make or break a head coach.