Corner Concerns & Other Thoughts

It's a good thing the Dolphins aren't playing a high-powered passing attack this weekend because they're going to be short-handed at cornerback with both Dimitri Patterson and Jamar Taylor having been ruled out of the game.

It continues a bittersweet season for Patterson, who has become a big-time playmaker for the Dolphins this season but simply hasn't been able to shake off a groin problem that first surfaced in the season opener at Cleveland.

The good news is that in Patterson and free agent pick-up Brent Grimes, the Dolphins have assembled a quality cornerback tandem.

The Dolphins would do well to keep it together next offseason, which would mean re-signing Grimes, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.

As for Taylor, missing the Jets game with a hamstring injury continues what has been a frustrating rookie season.

The second-round pick from Boise State University simply hasn't been able to make much of an impact because he's been battling one injury after the other.

And Taylor also has missed so much time that we just don't know what he's capable of yet, which also is disappointing.

With Patterson and Taylor out, the remaining cornerbacks are Grimes, Nolan Carroll, rookie third-round pick Will Davis and special teams standout R.J. Stanford.

Safety Jimmy Wilson, who has been impressive in coverage in recent weeks, also is part of the nickel defense.

Carroll, meanwhile, has had issues at times, but he's also coming off an impressive performance in the loss against Carolina.

FINE MESS: Cameron Wake wasn't flagged for his hit on quarterback Cam Newton on the Panthers' first offensive play last Sunday, but he later was fined almost $16,000 by the league.

Given the emphasis on protecting quarterbacks and the fact the hit left Newton spitting blood, we certainly can see how Wake got fined.

But if that hit was worth a fine, then the hit by Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly on wide receiver Rishard Matthews in the back of the end zone definitely merited a flag for personal foul.

And we won't even get started on the personal foul assessed on Reshad Jones for his "hit" on Newton on the game-winning touchdown drive. That flag came only because Newton basically threw himself on the ground after minimal contact from Jones once he reached the sideline.

Here's a thought: The National Hockey League rulebook includes a penalty for players diving to try to draw a call; maybe the NFL should consider the same thing when quarterbacks and wide receivers start acting like they've been brutally hit solely for the purpose of getting a flag thrown on the other team.


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