Defensive end Dion Jordan was removed from the non-football injury list during the first week of training camp when it appeared as though he was fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery.
Jordan still hasn’t put that shoulder injury behind him, though, as the first-round pick was held out of practice for the second consecutive day after only taking seven snaps in Jacksonville. Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle hinted that Jordan’s absence is more precautionary — likely derived from soreness or something minor — than anything serious after practice, however.
At this rate, it appears Jordan is out of the running for the starting right defensive end role — at least to begin the season — but the Dolphins plan on unleashing him as a pass-rushing specialist on third downs.
He potentially gives Miami another legitimate rusher to pair with Cameron Wake, which will be crucial to the defense’s ability to emerge as an elite unit in 2013.
But there should be no rush nursing him back. His long-term health, as a top-five pick who is expected to become a high-impact player for years to come, should be the priority.
Nate Garner continues to work with first team
For the second consecutive workout, Nate Garner practiced with the starters at right guard. After the Josh Samuda experiment went up in flames against the Jaguars, it appears that the Dolphins are set on letting Garner hold down the spot until John Jerry returns.
Garner will probably never be a solid NFL starter, but he should be an adequate band aid for an ailing position. We’ll see if quarterback Ryan Tannehill gets more time to throw in Houston on Saturday night.
Tannehill, Wallace spend time apart
You would think establishing chemistry between quarterback Ryan Tannehill and wide receiver Mike Wallace would be a high priority in these training camp practices. Tannehill spent a good portion of Monday morning’s practice throwing to Jeff Fuller and Brian Tyms while Matt Moore threw to Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline, though.
The Dolphins are far from the only team that splits up their units during certain drills of practice, but with Wallace missing almost two weeks of work recently with a groin injury, one would think he’d be paired with Tannehill as much as possible.
Tannehill did have a sharp session this morning, though, and found Wallace on a deep in during 7-on-7s.
Evan Rodriguez gets first-team reps at fullback
During the first two games of the preseason, H-back Charles Clay lined up at fullback with the starters. This morning at practice, Evan Rodriguez got some of those reps.
Last year’s starting fullback Jorvorskie Lane is officially on the roster bubble and his prospects of making the team are looking bleaker by the day. He still serves as a key contributor on special teams, but that likely won’t be enough to survive cuts.
Jason Trusnik works ahead of Koa Misi
Dolphins staring outside linebacker Koa Misi sat out several reps with the starters last week at practice. Jason Trusnik was the beneficiary of Misi sitting out more of those snaps today. Misi’s staring spot appears to be secure, but it is a little bizarre that he’s been held out of some work with the first team.
Dimitri Patterson, Richard Marshall rotate with starters
It’s still unclear who will be the starting cornerback opposite Brent Grimes when the season begins. Marshall has been the guy during the first two exhibitions, but Patterson has seen plenty of reps there in practice. The two rotated in and out with the first unit this morning.
Second-round pick Jamar Taylor was a full go for the second straight day, but he’s likely too far behind the veterans to legitimately make a push for the opening.
Besides Dion Jordan sitting out practice, defensive tackle Randy Starks and tight end Kyle Miller were two other non-participants this morning in Davie. Miller hasn’t practiced since catching a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of the Hall of Fame Game, while Starks has missed five consecutive sessions now.
Starks did return to the practice field today, though, as opposed to undergoing treatment inside the facility. That could mean he’s getting closer to full strength, but playing Saturday in Houston is unlikely.