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Miami Starts Season With Defensive Casualties

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By Abraham Gutierrez

The Miami Dolphins and the Cleveland Browns released their first injury report of the 2013 NFL season, as they continue preparations for their Sunday matinee at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Given that injuries are part of the game, both clubs come into the season opener with aching bodies, question marks and a combined total of 17 banged-up players.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - AUGUST 29:  Quarterback Pat Devlin #7 of the Miami Dolphins is sacked by defensive lineman Jay Richardson #97 of the New Orleans Saints at Sun Life Stadium on August 29, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

(credit: Marc Serota/Getty Images)

The Fins will have to shuffle some bodies around in an attempt to maximize the team’s chances of stealing one in Cleveland.

With seven players listed in Wednesday’s report, it’ll be a game of musical chairs for the Miami coaching staff in the coming days.

Philbin & Co. will likely make minor tweaks to the current rotation in order to arrange the best/healthiest player-combination for game day.

The biggest challenge will come on the defensive side of the football, where Miami has five of its seven casualties. According to the report, there are two cornerbacks, a safety, one linebacker, and defensive end on this list.

Although it appears that Miami could be susceptible to the deep ball this week, the fact that there’s plenty of depth in the secondary should help limit the damage.

The cornerbacks on this list are rookie (RCB #29) Will Davis (toe) and first-year man (LCB #22) Jamar Taylor (groin). Both players missed practice this week and are listed as “questionable” against the Browns.

But considering Davis is second and Taylor fourth on the team’s depth-chart, sitting this one out wouldn’t be too detrimental to the defense.
In fact, Miami is fortunate to have plenty of able bodies at that position, which gives the coaching staff the ability to adapt to various situations and hopefully force some turnovers.

Thus, fans can expect (RCB #24) Dimitri Patterson, (LCBs) Brent Grimes (#21), Nolan Carroll (#28) and R.J. Stanford (#25) to see ample playing time on Sunday.
The lone safety on this list is third-year man (S #27) Jimmy Wilson, who’s nursing a hamstring injury.

However there’s good news in the report, as the former Montana Grizzly participated in full team practices this week, and is listed as “probable” for Sunday.

The two remaining defensive players on this list – sophomore linebacker (#56) Jonathan Freeny and rookie (#95) Dion Jordan – are both suffering from shoulder injuries, but are listed as “probables” following a full week of practice

We now switch to the other side of the football, where Miami has two (injured) offensive players to report.

First, we have third-year quarterback (#7) Pat Devlin, who did not practice this week and is listed as “questionable” versus Cleveland due to an ankle injury.

However, his absence isn’t notable either, as the former Fightin’ Blue Hen is currently third in the Fins depth chart behind second-stinger Matt Moore and starter, Ryan Tannehill.

The last player on Miami’s (NFL week 1) injury report is dealing with a groin injury that caused him to participate in limited practice this week. Listed as “questionable” is rookie tight end out of Michigan State, (TE #80) Dion Sims.

While most of the aforementioned injuries can be filed as inconsequential, this team will not only miss his services, but the offense certainly hopes to have him ready for week 2 at Indianapolis.
Sims’ absence leaves Miami a little thin at the tight end at position, especially after losing former NY-Jet starter, Dustin Keller (knee) for the year during the preseason. Thus, the Fins are down to (#42) Charles Clay and (#84) Michael Egnew.

This not only limits Tannehill’s throwing-options down the middle, but also enables opposing coaches to double-team Mike Wallace, if need be, and force Miami’s other wideouts to make some grabs.
According to reports, Keller tore his ACL, MCL, PCL and suffered a dislocated his knee. Not only has he been ruled out for the remainder of the season, but most NFL experts question if he’ll ever step foot on an NFL field again.

Miami Dolphins Injury Report (Week 1) Released Sept. 4:

  • (CB) Will Davis (toe) – Did not practice – Questionable.
  • (QB) Pat Devlin (ankle) – Did not practice – Questionable.
  • (LB) Jonathan Freeny (shoulder) – Full practice – Probable.
  • (DE) Dion Jordan (shoulder) – Full practice – Probable.
  • (TE) Dion Sims (groin) – Limited practice – Questionable.
  • (CB) Jamar Taylor (groin) – Did not practice – Questionable.
  • (S) Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) – Full practice – Probable.

Cleveland Browns Injury Report (Week 1) Released Sept. 4:

  • (DB) Buster Skrine (shoulder) – Limited practice – Questionable.
  • (S) Josh Aubrey (ankle) – Did not practice – Questionable.
  • (TE) Gary Barnidge (shoulder) – Full practice – Probable.
  • (WR) Davone Bess (knee) – Full practice – Probable.
  • (DE) Desmond Bryant (back) – Limited practice – Questionable.
  • (TE) Jordan Cameron (groin) – Full practice – Probable.
  • (DE) John Hughes (knee) – Full practice – Probable.
  • (LB) Eric Martin (foot) – Full practice – Probable.
  • (LB) Barkevious Mingo (lung) – Limited practice – Questionable.
  • (CB) Chris Owens (foot) – Full practice – Probable.
  • (WR) Josh Gordon (suspension) – Eligible to return Week 3.

Opening kickoff is slated for just after 1 p.m. EST and will be broadcast live on CBS-Miami.

For more news and updates, visit Dolphins Central.

“Abe is a Criminal Justice Admin whose love for sports led him to become a writer, webmaster and editor.
His expertise making him a valued addition to Examiner.com and the CBS-Sports family. Whether he’s discussing NFL or any the other subject matter, Abe delivers professional content with a unique perspective.” His work can be found on Examiner.com. .

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