Miami Dolphins mailblog: Keller fallout

August, 21, 2013
8/21/13
12:00
PM ET
MIAMI -- The biggest news with the Miami Dolphins this week was the season-ending knee injury to starting tight end Dustin Keller. Let’s check the mailbag and see what’s on the minds of Dolphins fans this week.

@KyleBazin via Twitter writes: What do you feel the Dustin Keller injury does to the team?

James Walker: More than anything, it impacts Miami’s scheme and quarterback Ryan Tannehill the most, Kyle Bazin. Keller is a quality tight end who was going to make plenty of plays. Health permitting, I think Keller could have caught 50 receptions this year. Miami will not get that kind of production from the position with Keller out. The Dolphins would be lucky if backups Charles Clay, Michael Egnew and Dion Sims can combine for 50 receptions. But I think the more likely scenario is slot receiver Brandon Gibson picks up his production and gets more passes thrown his way over the middle.




AdamBrewgy via Twitter writes: Does the Dustin Keller injury increase Jorvorskie Lane's chances at making the 53 man roster?

Walker: Yes, AB, it does. In my initial 53-man projection I only kept Clay as Miami's H-back/fullback. But Clay is now the in-house favorite at tight end to replace Keller. That means Lane or Evan Rodriguez should make the final roster as a fullback. However, I lean towards Rodriguez because of his athleticism and versatility.




Chris Albanese from Valley Stream, NY, writes: If the New England Patriots cut Tim Tebow, would the Dolphins take a flyer on him to solve their TE problems short-term?

Walker: I guess there had to be one in the bunch, Chris. The Dolphins and 30 other teams had a chance to sign Tebow and passed. The Patriots took a flier on him and Tebow is fighting for a roster spot there. If Tebow is cut, the Dolphins will not look to pick him up as quarterback or a tight end.




Blickza via Twitter writes: What is your view on Phins' depth at linebacker?

Walker: Not good, Blickza. No one has stood out in training camp or the preseason behind the starters. That is a position I’m closely watching this weekend in Miami’s fourth preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jason Trusnik and Austin Spitler are the early favorites because they are veterans and bring value on special teams. I also think Jelani Jenkins has a good chance to make the 53-man roster because he’s a rookie fourth-round pick. But none of those backup linebacker positions are set in stone.




Peter Corsaro from Louisville, KY, writes: Are you aware there are four teams in the AFC East?

Walker: Sure I'm aware of that, Peter. If you haven’t noticed, ESPN.com is in the process of expanding coverage to all 32 teams this season. We already have a new Buffalo Bills reporter, Mike Rodak, who was formally introduced in the AFC East blog three weeks ago. Mike Reiss is in New England, Rich Cimini is in New York and I’m in Miami. Together we have the whole AFC East covered. ESPN.com is adding more writers to make sure fans like yourself get the most comprehensive and in-depth NFL coverage.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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