The Miami Dolphins are still not fully certain at this point when starting center Mike Pouncey will return to action. Pouncey who has been suffering from a hip injury, has been sidelined since last October. He hasn’t participated in OTAs.
The next step is trying to figure out when Pouncey will be available. Obviously the ideal time would be the start of training camp, but at this point that is also a question mark. One option for the Dolphins is to place him on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp. Hopefully he will be ready by the start of the season, but placing Pouncey on the PUP list may be the best administrative move for the team.
In Pouncey’s absence, Kraig Urbik has been the key replacement. Urbik started six games last season, as well as the playoff loss to Pittsburgh. If Pouncey does return, Urbik could shift over to the guard position, however he could face competition with Anthony Steen and Jake Brendel vying for time.
The Dolphins las season were able to mitigate the loss of Pouncey last year, mainly because Urbik did a good job stepping up in his absence. That said, there were still times of inconsistency where one week the Dolphins rushing game and pass protection was stellar, and other times pedestrian.
If the Dolphins want to take it to the next level, like their team has been pressing this offseason, they will need to have more consistency on the offensive line. A healthy ready to go Mike Pouncey would go a long way in pushing that agenda forward.
The Dolphins are in wait to see mode with regards to Pouncey’s rehabilitation. Everyone on the staff is saying the right things, however the lack of clarity of his return is still a major concern. That said, the team is doing everything in it’s power to plug the hole. At this point Urbik is going to have to step up and be ready regardless.