Monday, July 29, 2013
Re-examining Dolphins' depth at receiver
By James Walker
The Miami Dolphins suffered their first season-ending injury of training camp over weekend. Backup receiver Armon Binns landed awkwardly on his leg Sunday and suffered a torn ACL in his left knee.
Binns had a solid spring and made several plays during the first week of training camp. He was the early favorite for the No. 4 receiver job behind starters Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and slot receiver Brandon Gibson. Binns caught 24 passes for 277 yards and a touchdown during his split time last season with Miami and the Cincinnati Bengals.
With Binns out, the backup receiver positions are wide open. The Dolphins are expected to keep five or six receivers on their 53-man roster. Wallace, Hartline and Gibson are the only locks, leaving as many as three spots remaining.
Here are the early candidates:
No. 1: Marvin McNutt
Skinny: McNutt has made the most big plays of all the backup receivers in camp, including Binns. McNutt now has the inside track to become one of Miami's top reserves at receiver.
No. 2: Rishard Matthews
Skinny: Matthews surprised Miami last year as a seventh-round draft pick. But a recent camp injury will result in missed time and put him behind the rest of the group.
No. 3: Jeff Fuller
Skinny: Binns' injury opens up a golden opportunity for a player like Fuller. He has good size and is a former college teammate of Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. However, Fuller remains inconsistent in camp.
No. 4: Brian Tyms
Skinny: He's a raw talent who flashed in the spring but has disappeared so far in training camp. Unless he produces big in preseason games, Tyms could be a practice-squad option.
No. 5: Jasper Collins
Skinny: The Dolphins like his ability to return kicks. But Collins hasn't done much in training camp as a receiver. That's probably not enough to make the 53-man roster.
Other candidates: Kenny Stafford, Chad Bumphis, Andrell Smith.