Monday, October 22, 2007

When ACLs start snapping...

Wow...this season is turning into a bloodbath before our very eyes.

Last week, QB Trent Green was placed on Injured Reserve because of the concussion he received during the game against the Texans. He has acknowledged the fact that his playing days are likely over. I would like to give kudos to the Dolphins organization for making the correct call in this situation. There would be no sense in bringing Green back to play this year. Forcing him to miss the rest of the season is the morally correct decision for the player's long-term health and wellness. Too often, teams fail to make decisions with those factors in mind. Of course, it's a little bit easier to do when the team is winless and has no hopes of accomplishing anything this season.

I doubt that Green attempts to return next season as a player, but Miami should certainly try to retain him as a member of the coaching staff. Hey, the team idiotically spent a fifth-round pick to bring him here, they might as well get the most of his services. Green has agreed to stay on with the team in a coaching/mentor capacity for the rest of this current season, so hopefully he will be amenable to continuing in that role into the future. I think it would really help John Beck's development.

Speaking of Beck, with Green out of the picture, Beck is now one play away from getting live game action at any given time. Of course, the team may simply decide to go with Beck as the starter following the bye week, but in the meantime it's important to watch Lemon and make a judgment as to whether he should be brought back next year to serve as the backup QB. At this point, I would say he should be. He knows the system well, and he is a serviceable backup who is still young. His skill set is admirable, and the team wouldn't be completely lost if Lemon had to come into the game. Then again, some team may be willing to offer him a contract this offseason that Miami simply shouldn't try to match.

To fill the roster spot vacated by Green, the Dolphins activated WR Kerry Reed from the practice squad. In the preseason, Reed caught 5 passes for 68 yards.


Following Sunday's game against the Patriots, the Dolphins were dealt even more injury woes - this time of the catastrophically crippling variety. Both S Renaldo Hill and RB Ronnie Brown are out for the season after tearing their ACLs.

Hill tore his ACL after landing awkwardly when defending against Randy Moss in the endzone. Hill was the most consistent player in the secondary, and with the loss of Yeremiah Bell, he was the best safety on the team. The Dolphins are now in a tight situation regarding the safeties. The starting tandem to open the season - Hill and Bell - are both on IR. Travares Tillman, a very poor player, is still recovering from knee surgery, and Cameron Worrell, another poor coverage guy, is hobbled by a shoulder injury. The available safeties on the roster right now are Worrell, Jason Allen, and Courtney Bryan. (I just puked a little in my mouth) The team faces the possibility (and probability) of starting Worrell and Allen this week. That will be hands-down the most awful pair of starting safeties that I have seen in a long time. At least we will finally be able to see Allen start and get some much needed game action.

Just prepare yourself to see this group get beat deep...often.

As far as Ronnie goes...what a tough break. This kid was going gang-busters this season. Without a doubt, he was the best running back in the entire NFL this year and was on his way to a surefire Pro Bowl selection.

Now, he has a torn ACL, and although the success rate in recovery and rehab from those injuries is in the 90% range, there remains the possibility that 1) he will never regain the same form he finally showed this season or 2) that he will never fully recoup from this injury to the extent that he can play again.

Even if Ronnie does make it all the way back from this tragedy, this situation only underlines the need to avoid overlooking RBs in April's draft. I will always be an advocate for taking the best player available, and this is further support for that route. I always use the example of the Chiefs picking Larry Johnson when they had Priest Holmes. With RBs especially, one play is all it takes to wipe out everything. Having a healthy Ronnie Brown should in no way preclude this team from looking at the top running backs in the upcoming draft.

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