Updated Bust Watch: Dowling, Cunningham

November, 2, 2012
In July, the AFC East blog highlighted several players who needed successful seasons to avoid the “bust” label.

As we approach the midpoint of the season, let’s take a look at two New England Patriots.

Updated Bust Watch: CB Ras-I Dowling, DE Jermaine Cunningham

Picks: Dowling, 2011 second round; Cunningham, 2010 second round

Analysis: Many Patriots fans thought it was too soon to put Dowling on the “Bust Watch." He had just one injury-plagued year and was put on injured reserve. However, the same thing happened this year where Dowling returned slowly then ended up on injured reserve for a second straight season. Dowling may get one more chance in 2013, but he’s probably a bust at this point. Meanwhile, Cunningham has been a nice story. He showed improvement in the spring and summer and it has translated into the regular season. As a backup, Cunningham has 15 tackles, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and fumble recovery. It’s not Pro Bowl production but it’s certainly enough to begin shedding the “bust” label.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter



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