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Friday, August 30, 2013
Will Dion Jordan be ready for Week 1?

By James Walker

MIAMI -- The Dion Jordan saga so far has been an enigma.

The Miami Dolphins’ No. 3 overall pick was drafted with a shoulder injury. The expectation was that Jordan would be 100 percent by training camp. But since then, a series of ups, downs and setbacks have made Jordan questionable for Week 1 of the regular season.

Questions certainly remain with Jordan now that he has a little more than a week to prepare for the Sept. 8 opener against the Cleveland Browns. Jordan returned to practice this week but hasn't played since reinjuring his shoulder on Aug. 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"I’m trying to be patient, and it’s really testing my patience," Jordan said after Thursday’s preseason finale against the New Orleans Saints. "But I do know the situation. I’m going to make sure I’ll be ready to go when I step out there on the field. So when I am ready to go, I’m able to help this team out to be successful."

The Dolphins appear optimistic about Jordan’s chances. Head coach Joe Philbin complimented Jordan on how well he practiced earlier this week. Another full week of practice, barring setbacks, could be enough to persuade Miami's coaches and trainers to play the franchise's top pick in Cleveland.

Jordan has missed so much time that he's a backup in the rotation behind starting defensive end Olivier Vernon. At best, Jordan could be used as a third-down pass-rusher off the bench to start the year. His role could increase as Jordan gets healthy and gains more experience.

It's been a tough go overall for Jordan the past several months. He has spent more time with trainers rehabbing than he has on the field.

What's the biggest thing Jordan learned during this process?

"Mainly just the way you take care of yourself," Jordan explained. "You have to treat this like a job, and me as a rookie I understand that."