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Miami Dolphins: Should Dimitri Patterson Regain Starting Role?

Should a healthy Dimitri Patterson start over Nolan Carroll at cornerback.

Miami Dolphins cornerback Dimitri Patterson practiced for the third consecutive day on Wednesday afternoon in Davie. Reports are mixed, however, regarding how extensive his participation was in the workout.

According to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, Patterson was held out of team drills as he remains limited at practice. But according to Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel, it appeared Patterson regained his starting spot opposite Brent Grimes.

Patterson also moved inside to nickel cornerback on passing downs during Miami’s Week 1 win in Cleveland — a game in which he intercepted Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden twice in the first half.

When deemed healthy enough to play, it has been assumed that Patterson would easily be renamed the starting nickel after sitting out the past four games with a groin injury.

Safety Jimmy Wilson, who has covered the slot while Patterson has been sidelined, hasn’t been the liability he projected to be. But Patterson is still the much more capable option.

The real question centers around the starting boundary spot opposite Brent Grimes. Nolan Carroll has been very good filling in for Patterson.

In fact, Carroll currently ranks 26th in the entire NFL among qualified cornerbacks, according to Pro Football Focus. That means his play hasn’t just been starting caliber, it’s been above average.

Should the Dolphins risk replacing Carroll with a healthy Patterson, who played well in one game as opposed to five?

Patterson’s $4.5 million salary suggest he should be a starter. And the Dolphins were convicted enough about Patterson’s ability to release Richard Marshall back in August.

But that’s to not say Miami wouldn’t be taking a risk by making a change, especially considering Carroll has been such a solid option and Patterson’s ability to be a quality starter on the boundary consistently has not been proven.

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