The horrible end to Dolphins reserve defensive tackle Kendrick Norton’s career due to an auto accident two weeks ago that resulted in his left arm being amputated will have temporary happy ending. This as, Miami will arrange for Norton to receive his 2019 salary, even though it was not guaranteed.
ESPN’s Field Yates was the first to report Sunday afternoon that the team, on eve of it’s first training camp under coach Brian Flores, has decided to waive Norton and still allow him to get compensated:
The Dolphins have waived DT Kendrick Norton with a non-football injury designation, which still enables the team to pay him his full salary and support their seventh-round pick.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 21, 2019
By designating Norton on the Non-football injury or “NFI list,” Norton doesn’t count against the salary cap while being waived. He then, can request and the team will obviously agree that he receive the $495,000 he was slated to make had he made the Dolphins opening roster this fall.
Norton was released from a South Florida hospital on Friday after spending two weeks there following his rollover accident in the early morning hours of July 4th.
As we wrote previously, Norton lost control of his Ford F-250 truck after making contact with another vehicle and then eventually hitting a concrete barricade and flipping over on state road 836. The Florida Highway Patrol investigation cited Norton, as at fault for the accident, but did not find any evidence of him being impaired.
Norton was not wearing a seatbelt and his left arm was pinned under the hood of the truck. Firefighters and paramedics worked to disengage Norton from the vehicle and stop the massive blood loss after the amputation of his left arm. Norton had several surgeries over the two week stay, including on the arm, which was amputated just below the left shoulder.
A Go Fund Me webpage has been set up to help raise money for Norton and the NFL and the Dolphins had already announced that they would be picking up the medical costs for Norton’s stay in the hospital. Those costs could easily run into the six figures after the accident.
Norton is a former third team All ACC defensive tackle for the Miami Hurricanes, who was drafted a year ago in the 7th round by the Carolina Panthers. The Fins signed him off the Panthers practice squad in December and he had been taking part in the offseason program.
Norton realizes how fortunate that he is to be alive as he spoke in his only interview to date to WFOR-TV, CBS 4 in the hospital and said the following 10 days ago,
“I am alive. To be here, I am alive. One thing keeps me going and that is that I am still able to be here. Seeing my family is so important. It is very good that I have this support system. It keeps me strong and it keeps me tall. If you have something in the glass,” he said, “you are ok. A lot of people have glasses with not much in them or glasses that are empty. So if your glass is half full, you are ok.”
Obviously, owner Stephen Ross and GM Chris Grier wanted to send the right message to the organization, with current and potential future players, that the Fins will stand by their guys.
Dolphins will go back to veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
The Miami Dolphins continue their ongoing evaluation of whom will start the season at quarterback between veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and second-year newly acquired, Josh Rosen. And on Monday morning, coach Brian Flores announced that after Rosen had started game two last Friday night in Tampa, Fitzpatrick will be back under center to begin the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars this Thursday.
Flores met with a media prior to the Dolphins latest workout on Monday but also said not to read too much into the latest QB switch:
Brian Flores says not accurate to say Ryan Fitzpatrick is projected starter vs. Baltimore – yet. Ideally, will have one QB this year. Potentially name starter after this week but not set in stone. #miamidolphins
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) August 19, 2019
Miami started Rosen against the Buccaneers, whom they acquired from the Arizona Cardinals in a draft weekend trade. And, as we wrote, he was largely ineffective for most of Friday night’s first half that he played.
The final stat line read 10-18 102 yards 0 TD and 0 INT, which indicates an average half of football.
And, yes there were damp conditions from pregame rain in Tampa, but Rosen on multiple occasions threw behind or low towards receivers that were open for possible gains. He was also jittery against the Bucs occasional blitz package from new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Rosen was sacked three times and knocked down several others.
A key moment of scrutiny was when Rosen was unable to get the team in the end zone after they got outstanding field position on a Buccaneers 31 yard line midway through the first after fumble buy backup running back Andre Ellington. The Fins moved inside the 10, but Tampa Bay held Miami on fourth down, where Rosen threw incomplete in the right corner of the end zone to backup receiver Isaiah Ford and Miami came away with no points.
While Flores tried to make it clear that the media and fans should not read too much into going back to Fitzpatrick as an indication on who will be the opening day starter, it will likely be the veteran when Miami hosts the Baltimore Ravens on September 8th.
Miami obviously knows what they have in the 15-year veteran Fitzpatrick, who started the first three games of last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And he led them to two victories and was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for both of the first to win in 2018.
However, just because Fitzpatrick starts the Jaguars game Thursday night, doesn’t mean Rosen won’t play in the first half with the first team to get another look for new offensive coordinator, Chad O’Shea.
The game Thursday night will also be televised nationally by Fox and the Jaguars are expected to play their starters throughout the first half, and perhap, into the early part of the third quarter.
That will give Fitzpatrick and maybe, Rosen, ample opportunity to see what they can do against a quality defense.
Dolphins QB Rosen did little Friday night to win starting job
The ongoing battle for who will start the Dolphins season at quarterback took another interesting turn in Friday night’s preseason game with the Buccaneers. However, the current backup, second-year player Josh Rosen, did little to help his case to unseat veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.
New head coach Brian Flores and his offensive coordinator, Chad O’Shea, obviously challenged Rosen by having him start with the first team and play the entire first half in last night’s second preseason game.
Unfortunately, for Rosen and the coaching staff, he did a little to impress and at times, showed the same shaky quarterback play and bad throws that he did during a mostly dismal rookie season in Arizona. The final stat line read 10-18 102 yards 0 TD and 0 INT, which indicates average half of football.
And, yes there were damp conditions from pregame rain, but Rosen on multiple occasions threw behind or low towards receivers that were open for possible gains. He was also jittery against the Bucs occasional blitz package from new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Rosen was sacked three times and knocked down several others.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) August 17, 2019
Later in the first half Rosen should have thrown an interception, as he threw the ball right to Bucs rookie defensive back Jamel Dean after throwing late and behind a receiver on the near sideline. However, Dean dropped the INT. Still, Miami punted shortly after.
Coach Brian Flores said after the joint practices with the Bucs this week that Rosen needed to “improve his body language” and leading the team.
Yet, while this was a dress rehearsal, he did little to inspire the Dolphins offense, which only managed 2 field goals even with great field position throughout the first half.
There will still be more opportunity for Rosen in the final two preseason games, and perhaps he will be better.
Better than he was Friday night.