Dolphins first-round pick Dion Jordan, who has missed practice since re-injuring his surgically-repaired right shoulder against the Jaguars on August 9, returned to work with his teammates on Tuesday morning in Davie. As the following tweet explains, Jordan was still limited, however:
Dion Jordan was doing some individual work today but didn't do any team stuff in the bubble. #Dolphins
— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonPBP) August 27, 2013
Jordan will undoubtedly be held out of Thursday night’s preseason finale, but it appears his prospects of playing Week 1 in Cleveland aren’t as bleak as they used to be.
Even with insufficient reps, Jordan has the ability to make the Dolphins’ defense better the second he steps on the field. He’s an athletic freak who has the versatility to rush the passer with top-notch explosiveness from the edge or to become a disruptive force standing up at linebacker.
Earning a role as an early down edge setter may take time, but Jordan is ready to upgrade the Dolphins’ nickel package as soon as he’s cleared to play.
In Saturday night’s dress rehearsal, the Dolphins tipped their hand as to what Jordan’s initial role in Kevin Coyle’s defense will be. On Jared Odrick’s sack, Oliver Vernon was rushing the passer as a stand-up linebacker on the left side behind Cameron Wake.
Throw Jordan into the mix on the opposite edge, and the Dolphins will have three legitimate pass-rushing threats on the field at once on many passing downs.
That’s a scary thought for opposing quarterbacks.
In other news…
Rookie cornerback Will Davis sat out his second consecutive practice on Tuesday morning. Davis came up limping on a play in the second half of Saturday night’s game, and reports suggest he apparently suffered an ankle injury of unknown severity. He’ll likely be held out of Thursday night’s game against the Saints.
Nolan Carroll, who is expected to have large role in the team’s nickel and dime packages this season, sat out individual drills with a reported back issue.
If Carroll is sidelined for an extended period of time, Dimitri Patterson will likely stay put on the boundary with Jimmy Wilson covering the slot on passing downs. At least until Will Davis or Jamar Taylor is deemed ready to handle boundary duties.
Speaking of Taylor, now that the second-round pick has a couple weeks of practice under his belt and the team is hurting at the position, I expect the Dolphins to get an extensive look at him during Thursday night’s game.
Performing well would be the first step in surpassing Nolan Carroll on the depth chart.
It’ll also be interesting to monitor if these injuries shake up the 53-man roster. If Davis and/or Carroll are expected to miss the opener in Cleveland, there’s nothing stopping the Dolphins from keeping a sixth cornerback.