Coming off their biggest victory of the season, the Dolphins now face their biggest personnel loss. It was revealed on Monday that Pro-Bowl safety Reshad Jones suffered a rotator cuff injury against Pittsburgh. So, Wednesday the Dolphins placed Jones on Injured Reserve, likely ruling him out for the rest of the season.
“It’s unfortunate for him and for us because he was having a good year,” said coach Adam Gase.
Jones is second on the team with 51 tackles and was coming off a standout performance against the Steelers, that included his first interception of the season.
“It’s tough when you lose a player of his caliber, not only as a player but as a leader,” said Gase.
Now it’s the “Next Man Up” situation for Vance Joseph’s defense. 2014 first round draft pick Walt Akins resided behind Jones on the depth chart.
Right when the Dolphins thought they grabbed momentum, Jones’ injury serves as a punch to the gut.
Miami also activated cornerback Chris Culliver from the PUP list to begin practicing this week. Culliver is coming off knee surgery is expected to give a struggling secondary a boost, when he’s finally game ready.
This week Miami’s defense will concentrate on the Bills high powered rushing attack. Buffalo’s Lesean McCoy left practice Wednesday with a hamstring issue, but according to early reports should be ready to play on Sunday. The Bills walk in to Hard Rock Stadium fresh off their fourth straight win and leading the league in rushing with 166.3 yards per game
Report- Dolphins give coach Brian Flores vote of confidence
Despite the horrific first six weeks of the season, it appears that coach Brian Flores will not be held accountable for it at least for 2019.
A report Tuesday afternoon from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says that he’s been told by a high-ranking source close to the Dolphins and the situation that the first year coach is safe at least for now:
NEW: Dolphins notes from ongoing NFL owners meetings, including clarity on Flores, rebuilding timetable. And Dolphins management on why this season won't damage team brand, popularity: https://t.co/zwZs3cGIrQ
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) October 15, 2019
Jackson didn’t elaborate much other than the source at the league owners meeting basically said Flores will not be held responsible, even if the Dolphins were to complete the third 0-16 season in modern NFL history later this year.
Miami’s latest defeat on Sunday was a dramatic 17 – 16 loss to the Washington Redskins, where Flores elected to go for two and the win after scoring a touchdown in the final :06 of the game. Veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who led the fourth quarter comeback, had his pass to Kenyan Drake for the two-point play fall incomplete sealing their fifth consecutive loss to start this campaign.
Despite Miami having been outscored by more than 140 points in just five games, there is still apparently belief within the Dolphins front office that Flores was the right choice to come in and establish Miami as a contender in the near future. Flores has the pedigree having won three different Super Bowls with the Patriots, as a defensive assistant.
And, the team and GM Chris Grier have obviously decided to gut the roster of any veteran players of consequence that were making significant money. Prominent players LT Laremy Tunsil, WR Kenny Stills, LB Kiko Alonso and last year’s first round pick, Minkah Fitzpatrick, were all dealt away in three week period in late August and early September. Thus, gutting the team of veteran contributors.
This essentially tied Flores’ hands on being able to be competitive for this season.
Now, it’s not unheard of that an owner, the Dolphins Stephen Ross in this case, could change his mind and still make a move on Flores after only a year.
But, with the circumstances laid out above, it seems clear that all of three of the key figures are on the same page that Flores isn’t going to pay for an 0-16, 1-15 type season with his job.
Brian Flores demonstrated Monday that Miami has no real QB plan
Say whatever you want about the Dolphins trying to “tank this season,” the actions of the last 24 hours involving their quarterback situation clearly demonstrate that they have no real plan for what they’re doing.
This after first-year coach Brian Flores waffled on his commitment of just five days ago the second-year quarterback Josh Rosen will be the Dolphins quarterback for the foreseeable future, if not the rest of this already lost season.
It turns out that that commitment lasted all of three quarters before Rosen was benched in Sunday’s 17 – 16 loss to the Washington Redskins. That’s when Flores and offensive coordinator, Chad O’ Shea, chose veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and inserted him back into in a role he’s been very familiar with- coming off the bench to try and save the day.
Fitzpatrick did lead Miami to 13 fourth quarter points and had them on the verge of possibly winning the game before his 2-point conversion pass to running back Kenyan Drake fell in complete with six seconds left in the game.
The end Sunday for Rosen came after a second half with a Dolphin’s had punted on three possessions and he threw his second interception on the other one. Fitzpatrick replaced him to begin the fourth quarter and immediately led a nine-play, 55-yard touchdown drive that culminated, when Kalen Ballage scored from a yard out.
But, Fitzpatrick was less than brilliant on either of the next two drives as they picked up one first down, but still punted and then, his third drive resulted in a three-and-out and included a fumbled snap the lost 8 yards.
Fitzpatrick, who had played poorly throughout the Dolphins first two horrific losses to start the year against the Ravens and the Patriots leading to his benching, did rally the team down the stretch. And, he lead the potential game-tying drive in the final two minutes. That’s when Flores elected to go for the win on the two-point play and had it not work out.
So that brings us to Monday’s day after the game news conference. Flores said matter of factly that Rosen “would be expected to start” in this week’s coming match-up at Buffalo:
Dolphins Live: Coach Flores meets with the media. https://t.co/8cO0Bq2mnZ
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) October 14, 2019
But, then, later when answering another question, that his starter would be based on how the two quarterbacks would practice this week.
We wrote after the week to disaster with New England that now 0-5 Miami has nothing to lose by continuing to try to play Rosen and have him develop and get better.
You know what you have in the 36 year old veteran Fitzpatrick, and he is clearly not the future.
And, Rosen may not be that future, either. However, the waffling of when he might play or start and sending him back to the bench only shows one thing: dysfunction.
Dysfunction, because there is apparently no real plan with what to do with Rosen, Fitzpatrick or the last 10 games of the season.
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