Caleb Sturgis enters season as wild card

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins second-year kicker Caleb Sturgis had an interesting summer. So much is the case that last season's leading scorer (111 points) is suddenly a question mark heading into the Week 1 matchup against the New England Patriots.

Sturgis was hampered most of training camp with a groin injury. It prevented him from kicking in the first three preseason games. Sturgis made his preseason debut last week against the St. Louis Rams and missed his only field-goal attempt.

Will Sturgis be in regular-season form Sunday in a big division game against New England? No one knows for sure, but Sturgis remains confident.

"I think it’s just going back to the confidence in what you do," Sturgis told ESPN.com Thursday. "It’s the same thing I’ve been doing the last eight or nine years of my life. I feel like I’ve perfected it and need to just rely on what I do and not change anything."

Miami has played musical chairs at kicker this summer because of multiple injuries. In addition to Sturgis' groin ailment, John Potter also suffered a hip injury before being released. Danny Hrappman also kicked for Miami and was 1-for-1 in the preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Dolphins do not have another kicker on the 53-man roster this week, which is an indication they have confidence in Sturgis' health and performance. During his rookie year Sturgis had issues with consistency, making just 76.5 percent of his field-goal attempts.

"He’s in his second year. We expect him to have a better year than he did last year," Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said. "This is Week 1 of the season. We are getting ready for that. Yeah, I have a lot of confidence in him."

Sturgis said he’s a better kicker than a year ago. He believes he has a better feel for Sun Life Stadium and good chemistry with his holder Brandon Fields and long snapper John Denny. But Sturgis cannot prove it this season unless he stays healthy.

"I don’t think for any position you enjoy being injured or ever get used to it," Sturgis explained. "All you can do is keep your mind on is getting healthy and wanting to be healthy."