Thursday, September 19, 2013
Examining Dolphins' potential replacements
By James Walker
The Miami Dolphins are dealing with the injury bug after a pair of intense road wins against the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts. This means the undefeated Dolphins (2-0) will have their depth tested Sunday in another tough game against the Atlanta Falcons (1-1).
Here is a look at Miami's potential replacements for Week 3:
Injured player: Defensive tackle Paul Soliai
Potential replacement: Defensive tackle Randy Starks
Analysis: Soliai injured his knee in a Week 2 win over the Colts. He hasn't practiced Tuesday or Wednesday, and probably won't be ready to face Atlanta on Sunday. Soliai is Miami's best run stuffer. But fortunately for the Dolphins, they have a deep defensive-line rotation and Starks, a 2012 Pro Bowler, is Soliai's replacement. Starks is playing on a one-year franchise tag and would like a bigger role. He will get more playing time this week along with fellow starting defensive tackle Jared Odrick.
Injured player: Safety Chris Clemons
Potential replacement: Safety Jimmy Wilson
Analysis: Clemons has a bad hamstring and like Soliai, he missed Tuesday and Wednesday’s practice. There’s a good chance he will not play this weekend. Wilson is a versatile backup who played nickel corner in Week 2. He could start at safety in Week 3, and defending the deep ball is important for Miami against Atlanta’s high-powered offense led by quarterback Matt Ryan.
Injured player: Cornerback Dimitri Patterson
Potential replacement: Cornerback Nolan Carroll
Analysis: Patterson (groin) dressed but did not play in Miami's Week 2 win over Indianapolis. The Dolphins have been careful managing his groin injury, and he's closer to playing this week. Miami certainly needs Patterson. Atlanta is bringing two top-level receivers to town in Roddy White and Julio Jones. Carroll is serviceable as a starter, but he's better in a backup role. Atlanta could target Carroll if he has to start again this week.