MIAMI -- One of the biggest questions facing the Miami Dolphins this week is the playing status of No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan. He practiced fully Monday and sounded optimistic about his chances to play in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns.
“I’m going to be excited,” said Jordan, who is recovering from a shoulder injury. “This is my first real, official regular-season football game. I’m going to probably have to control my emotions, so when I get out there I’m able to help out this team so I can get the ‘W.’”
Jordan sounds like a person who will play this weekend. Barring any setbacks, this will be Jordan’s second straight week of practice without restrictions. Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle also added that Jordan will be a big part of this week's gameplan.
Jordan's role on the defense most likely will be as a situation pass-rusher off the bench. Jordan also got reps Monday on the kickoff coverage team.
Here is more buzz from inside the Dolphins’ locker room:
Miami starting guard John Jerry spent the past two weeks trying to shake the rust following a knee injury. Jerry missed most of training camp and only played in the final two preseason games. He didn’t get many reps this summer, but Jerry believes he’s ready. “I feel good; my body feels good,” Jerry said. “Coach [Joe] Philbin does a great job taking care of us and making sure we will be fresh for the game. We’ll be prepared and ready to go out and battle."
New Dolphins fullback Tyler Clutts has to be a quick study. He was claimed by the Houston Texans on Sunday and participated in his first practice with Miami on Monday. Clutts must learn an entirely new offense fast. He could get playing time this weekend because he’s the only fullback on the roster. “I’m glad that I can be here,” Clutts said. “And I’m working to stay. ... I transitioned from a defensive position in college and moved to fullback three years ago. I’m still learning the position. Now I feel like I have a good grasp on it. Personally, I feel like this is my natural position.”
A top matchup to watch in this game will be Cleveland’s running game, led by tailback Trent Richardson, against Miami’s physical front seven on defense. It’s going to be strength versus strength Sunday, and Dolphins Pro Bowl defensive tackle says he’s looking forward to it. “He’s a good running back,” Starks said of Richardson. “We have to tackle and gang tackle on him. It’s going to be a fun game. …We’re built for that -- hard-nose smash-mouth football.”