News and Views

With the Dolphins getting closer to the start of the regular season, there has been a lot going in recent days, from the injury sustained by tight end Joey Haynos to the battle for the starting center job. We break down the latest news and tell you what it means.

What happened: TE Joey Haynos is waived/injured after sustaining a foot injury in the preseason game against Atlanta.

What it means: The big question here is whether Haynos was in line to make the team had it not been for his injury. With him gone, there seems to be a line of thinking that the Dolphins will keep only two tight ends on the 53-man roster, but it seems pretty obvious from this end that the coaching staff really likes 2009 fifth-round pick John Nalbone. At this point, it does seem as though Anthony Fasano and David Martin are locks to make the team, and with as many two-tight-end sets as the Dolphins employ, it's actually hard to see them keeping only two tight ends on the roster. So this might be a case of Haynos' loss equaling Nalbone's gain.

What happened: LB Channing Crowder is sent by the Dolphins to get a second opinion regarding an injury.

What it means: Of course, the first thing that would be nice to know is what kind of injury we're dealing, but Tony Sparano isn't providing that information, so we're left to guess or dig up that info. This might not be so bothersome if it weren't for the fact that Crowder had foot surgery at the end of last season and the possibility does exist that there have been complications in his recovery. Sparano has said the last two days he's not yet ready to prepare as though Crowder won't be ready for the season opener, but as tight-lipped as he's always been about things of that nature, you have to take that comment with a grain of salt. At least the Dolphins appear to have a very good alternative to Crowder in Tim Dobbins, but there's no depth at inside linebacker behind those two and Karlos Dansby. So, yes, this Crowder situation is troublesome.

What happened: Joe Berger was listed first at center ahead of Jake Grove on the latest depth chart.

What it means: This has been an interesting battle all summer, and the feeling is that Grove's propensity to get nicked up — he missed time at camp, he came out of the Atlanta game favoring his left arm or shoulder — might be enough to put Berger in the starting lineup even though there are few who would suggest Berger is the better of the two. Everyone knows this regime doesn't have a high tolerance for players who get injured a lot — see Smiley, Justin — so that could be Grove's downfall.

What happened: Rookie Koa Misi saw practice time at weakside linebacker after spending all summer playing strongside linebacker.

What it means: While Sparano explained the move was done merely to see how Misi could handle playing away from the tight end, the timing is odd. It's not a major reach to suggest this might indicate a level of dissatisfaction with Misi's work on the strong side. Remember, Misi has started all three preseason game at strongside linebacker, but converted defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis recently has been practicing with the first-team defense at that spot. This one bears watching, but at this point we'd be inclined to think that Misi is less than 50-50 to be the starter on opening day at Buffalo when he seemed to be a lock just last week.


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