By Abraham Gutierrez
As the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills prepare for their Week 2 showdown Sunday afternoon, contrasting headlines continue to fly out of the newsroom. For Buffalo, reports indicate that Terrence Pegula has won the bidding for full ownership of the Bills, while Miami received some devastating news regarding one of the Dolphins’ highest-paid players.
Setting a new record for a professional football team, Terry’s $1.2 billion purchase agreement guarantees the team will remain in Buffalo. This is great news for Bills fans, as the 63-year-old billionaire, who’s worth a reported $3.3 billion, has remained true to his commitment to the city.
“I believe that [Pegula] is enthusiastic about both owning and keeping the Bills in Buffalo for generations,” said Senator Charles Schumer.
Unfortunately, most Dolphins headlines revolve around personnel issues that are sure to have an impact in this week’s AFC East divisional clash. According to confirmed reports, Miami will be without the services of starting linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who suffered a hip injury that will sideline him for the remainder of the 2014-15 NFL season.
With surgery as the only option to repair the damage, head coach Joe Philbin wasted no time in placing one of the team’s highest-paid players on season-ending injured reserve. In addition, Miami also opted not to exercise its early return IR designation on Ellerbe, as doctors have discarded the possibility that he will return this season.
Furthermore, Philbin will have some shuffling to do in preparation for the Bills game, as other injuries have left the Fins’ depth chart a little thin. In addition to Ellerbe, the Dolphins are also uncertain about the playing status of starting middle linebacker Koa Misi.
After suffering an ankle injury in Miami’s 33-20 win over New England, the fifth-year man out of Utah was seen leaving Sun Life Stadium in a walking boot. On Monday, a number of tests were performed to determine the extent of Misi’s injury. However, all indications are that Fins fans will have to wait for updates on his status for Sunday’s game as the week progresses.
Also spending some extensive time in the rehab room this week is strong-side linebacker Philip Wheeler. The former third-round NFL Draft pick is nursing a thumb injury – which impedes his ability to tackle – that kept him out of the season opener against the Pats.
As a result, the Dolphins have signed fourth-year linebacker Kelvin Sheppard to fill Ellerbe’s roster spot. The former LSU standout started nine games for the Bills in 2011 and 15 in 2012 before being dealt to Indianapolis last year. As a member of the Colts, he started in seven games, coming away with 46 tackles before his release in August.
“We’re just going to prepare like we always do,” said Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle regarding the uncertainty in the secondary. “This is no different than any other week. I don’t worry about the guys that aren’t playing.”
Against the Bills, Miami will be facing one of the best running attacks in the league. Thus, the Fins will likely promote reserve linebacker Jason Trusnik into a starting spot, along with a number of combinations involving Jelani Jenkins, Jonathan Freeny and/or rookie Chris McCain.
“You worry about the guys that are going to be playing, getting them in the right spots, getting them prepared to play, not about the guys that aren’t,” Coyle added.
For more Dolphins news and updates, visit Dolphins Central.
Abe Gutierrez is a criminal justice admin whose love for sports led him to become a writer and editor. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com and its partners. His work can be found on Examiner.com. .