Dolphins Place Veteran LB Koa Misi on IR with Neck Injury

USA Today Photos

The Dolphins have placed veteran linebacker Koa Misi on season-ending injured reserve with a neck injury according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.

The move was a bit of a surprise since head coach Adam Gase said earlier on Tuesday he was “confident” Misi would “play football again” -apparently if Misi playes football again in 2017 it won’t be in Miami.

The seven-year veteran played only three games in 2016 before undergoing neck surgery and he missed all of the offseason program while still recovering. At age 30, Misi’s NFL future is not looking bright.

USA Today Says the Dolphins Will Have an Under .500 Season

Miami Herald

Training camps around the NFL are set to open, and with it publications are already making their picks for the upcoming season, and that includes USA Today.

The newspaper online today put out their picks, and have the Dolphins going 7-9, this coming off a playoff season a year ago in which they were eliminated in the wild card game by the Steelers.

Here’s what USA Today had to say about the Fins:

Miami Dolphins (7-9): Coming off a playoff campaign in coach Adam Gase’s rookie season, much obviously rides on the health and continued development of Ryan Tannehill. The schedule isn’t all that friendly, with trips to the West Coast, London, a road date with Baltimore on a Thursday and December trips to Buffalo and Kansas City.

The paper picks the Patriots (to no ones shock) to win the AFC East going (gulp) 16-0.

Ndamukong Suh Says He Thinks the Patriots Can Be Beat

The Patriots have won eight consecutive AFC East titles and 13 of the past 14, with the Dolphins interrupting that streak (in 2008) only when Tom Brady tore his ACL in New England’s opener.

But the Dolphins’ Ndamukong Suh remains undaunted by any of that, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

“I think the Patriots are definitely beatable,” Suh said on ESPN on Monday. “It’s just a matter of playing a good game, almost a perfect game in a lot of ways because they’ve got great coaching and obviously great players and talent on their side of the ball. So you’ve got to be going on all cylinders. Without question, I have a ton of respect for them, but without question, they’re definitely beatable as everybody is in the league.”

Suh’s comments came a couple weeks after he declared that the Dolphins have “never been scared” of the Patriots.

Asked about Pittsburgh linebacker Ryan Shazier’s comments that the league has a “Patriots problem,” Suh said he didn’t agree.

“[Making the Patriots the division favorite] is an easy thing to do, and it’s a great opportunity to create conversation,” Suh said. “What we do as the Dolphins, we put our downs head and we go to work. We’ve beaten them before. We’ve had success against them and really look forward to repeating that as we go out there in this upcoming 2017 season.”

New England has won four of the past five against Miami and 11 of the past 14. The teams meet Nov. 26 in Massachussets and Dec. 11 on a Monday night in Miami.

Dolphins LB Koi Misi Still Not Cleared for Football Activities After Surgery

Several months after undergoing spinal fusion surgery in the wake of a neck injury early last season, Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi still has not been cleared by doctors to return to football activities, leaving his football status in question, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

Misi saw a doctor in the past two weeks and plans to see one again before the start of camp in late July, according to a source. He remains hopeful about being cleared to play this season, but it’s impossible for anyone to know when he will be cleared.

Misi, 30, originally hoped to be cleared for football activities in May, but that did not happen and he was not on the field during the team’s offseason program that ended last week.

Doctors, following this type of procedure, do not clear professional athletes to return until pain and symptoms have subsided.

Peyton Manning underwent the same procedure earlier this decade and rebounded to play several years, leading the Broncos to a Super Bowl victory before retiring after 2015.

The Dolphins and Misi were very optimistic he would play this season, so much so that the Dolphins decided to keep him with a restructured contract instead of releasing him.

Misi’s salary was reduced from $4.1 million to about $2.1 million, with $1.15 million of that amount guaranteed this season. His cap hit was reduced from $4.8 million to $2.8 million.

“He wants to be here and he wants to have a chance to compete with the guys that we have on our roster,” coach Adam Gase said earlier this offseason. “If he’s healthy and able to contribute for us, it’s a big plus for us because he is a good player.”

Dolphins Make the List of Teams That Can Upset the Patriots for the Super Bowl in 2018

We all know how good the champion New England Patriots are, and people are picking the Pats to once again take home the Lombardi Trophy in February of 2018.

While the Pats are the favorites, has a piece out about six teams that have a legit chance to unseat the champions from 2017, and the Fins have made the list.

Here’s what Conor Orr had to say about the Dolphins and their chances.

5) Miami Dolphins

Regular-season matchups with the Patriots: Nov. 26 (Week 12) at Gillette Stadium; Dec. 11 (Week 14) at Hard Rock Stadium.

Why they can do it: Once in a great while, there is an AFC East opponent capable of consistently troubling the Patriots. The Jets during Rex Ryan’s zenith were one of those teams. The Adam Gase-led Dolphins could be another. Miami did not shy away from its veteran-laden roster this offseason, doubling down on its hope to become an intimidating, smash-mouth unit. In a lot of ways, the Dolphins are built like the Jets early in the Ryan era, with stars at wide receiver and running back and studs at linebacker and defensive tackle. The one missing component, of course, is stability across the secondary. Byron Maxwell showed an ability to play up to (and above) his potential last year, though Miami would still need an otherworldly performance from Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake, Charles Harris and the rest to make this happen.

Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry Not Concerned About Current Contract Issues

Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry made it clear Wednesday that he is not focused or bothered by his current contract situation, James Walker of reports.

In his first public comments since the Pro Bowl in January, Landry confirmed there have been discussions with the team. But Landry said he never considered holding out of voluntary workouts and that the contract situation will eventually take care of itself.

“I’m not really worried about any contract or anything like that,” Landry said at Miami’s OTAs. “I’m more focused on trying to help my team get to a Super Bowl, week in and week out playing hard and playing together. We’ve talked back and forth but there’s nothing really going on. We’re just really focusing on right now today.”

The Dolphins said this offseason that extending Landry is a priority. Both sides are expected to work out a new contract by the start of the regular season. The Dolphins also have extended multiple in-house players this offseason, such as safety Reshad Jones ($60 million), receiver Kenny Stills ($32 million), linebacker Kiko Alonso ($28 million) and defensive end Andre Branch ($24 million).

Landry is confident and hopeful that he will be next.

“I don’t really have a breaking point,” Landry said of a possible deadline. “I’m at the point in my life where I’m set. I’m comfortable in the position that I’m in right now. I’m here to help my team get to the Super Bowl and it starts with me being here. I can’t be one of those guys that sit out or not show up and just bring bad whatever to the organization. For me, I know that I need to be here.”

Landry was recently ranked the 42nd-best player in the league, according to an NFL Network poll taken by fellow players. Last year Landry was ranked No. 98, which marks a significant jump, but the receiver remains unsatisfied.

“Not enough,” Landry said. “Honestly, me personally, I play this game to be recognized as one of the best. For me, and I’m sure every player, want to be No. 1 I’ve always approached this game that way and how I’ve worked. So I won’t settle for [No.] 42.”

Peyton Manning Was a Key to Selling the Dolphins on Making a Deal for TE Julius Thomas

When the Dolphins were considering acquiring tight end Julius Thomas, offensive coordinator Clyde Christiansen reached out to a former pupil, retired quarterback Peyton Manning, Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post reports.

Christensen was Manning’s offensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts in 2009 and 2010. And Thomas caught 24 touchdowns from Manning when they played together for the Denver Broncos in 2013 and 2014.

So Christensen trusts Manning’s evaluation, and it was overwhelmingly positive.

“That (Thomas) figured it out,” Christensen explained of Manning’s report. “(Thomas’) figure-it-out factor was high. That’s what you look for. There’s a guy who came in and probably didn’t know a whole bunch about football, or played very little. His experience was very minimal, and then (he) came in and figured it out and then worked. (Manning) talked a lot about (Thomas asking), ‘Would you stay out and help me with this? Take me through this. Would you watch a little tape with me? Would you explain what you want on this?’ And he still does the same thing. I’ll see him in (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase’s office and his questions are right. His questions and his process are right, which as a coach, (is what) you’re looking for.”

Manning helped Thomas reach unforeseen heights after the tight end was a fourth-round draft choice out of Portland State.

After signing a big contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, though, Thomas had only nine touchdowns in two injury-marred seasons.

Christensen believes Miami is more likely to see the Broncos version of Thomas in 2017.

“There’s no guarantee on any of them,” Christensen said. “It’s on film. I’ve seen it. Hearing Peyton (Manning) talk about him and what he meant to the offense. (Head Coach Adam) Gase knows him inside out. Gase knows exactly what he’s getting and knows how to use him. (Gase) used him extremely well out there in Denver. I have great confidence that we will get that. It’s not a speculation. There’s some – as you like to say – empirical data. There’s data we can see, see him do it (and) see the things we need him to do. That always is encouraging.”

“He knows the system,” Christensen said. “He came up through the ranks. He has a great story. You guys will hear it when you talk to him, but (he is) a guy that hadn’t played a ton of football and (was) learning how to be a pro, learning how to practice, learning how detailed this thing is and figuring it out. So, his story and what he’ll bring to that locker room I think is really good. He’s a pleasant guy. He’s a pro. He asks the right questions. He stays with it until he knows the answer. He’s going to come in, in the evening if he has questions. He’s going to do whatever it takes to find a way to play good football. That’s what we’re looking for. That’s what we need throughout the thing – a detailed, professional guy.”

Dolphins Coach Adam Gase Happy with QB Ryan Tannehill’s Offseason Thus Far

Dolphins coach Adam Gase said it’s business as usual for quarterback Ryan Tannehill during offseason workouts, which means Gase isn’t concerned about the knee injury that sidelined Tannehill for the final three regular season games and the playoffs, Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

“He looks normal to me, just looks like he did last year,” Gase said during Friday’s media session on the first day of a three-day rookie minicamp.

Gase also said center Mike Pouncey, who was limited to five games last season due to a hip injury, is being handled carefully, as he promised at the NFL owners meetings in March when he said Pouncey might be encased in bubble wrap.

“He’s going to be brought along slowly,” Gase said. “We kind of joked about this in the past, about how I’m going to handle him this coming season.

“Our goal is to make sure he plays every game plus more. So if that means that he doesn’t practice as much, I have no issues with that.”