A starting battle at defensive end between Olivier Vernon and first-round pick Dion Jordan likely will develop at some point.
But it hasn’t yet, and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said Monday that Jordan has not logged enough practice snaps to realistically compete for a starting job “at this point.”
What’s more, Jordan is now sidelined because of an issue relating to the shoulder that was surgically repaired in February, according to a league source. The situation is not considered serious, but Jordan has been held out of practice the past two days.
“He hasn’t gotten the reps that would be necessary to start at this point,” Coyle said. “But we still have three weeks of training camp. So it’s a little premature to determine exactly what his status would be as we begin the season.”
Jordan played just seven snaps Friday against Jacksonville, a week after he played only on third downs against Dallas. Asked when he might receive work on first and second downs, Coyle said:
“We’re obviously taking some precaution with Dion, not wanting to overload him at this point. We’ve got a plan in place that we think will get him ready to participate at the level we feel best at to complete the season.
“We would like to see as much of him as we can, but we will be careful as we proceed. He’s working his tail off. The other night, he had one of the most explosive hits in the game. When they came out in the Wildcat, he was in the backfield making a great, athletic play.”
Wait on Wallace
Three days after Ryan Tannehill did not even throw a pass to Mike Wallace in their first preseason game together, both offered cautionary words to those eager to see them connect on deep balls.
“It’s not going to be five touchdowns a game,” Tannehill said, noting the two connected on a deep touchdown throw in 7-on-7 drills Monday. “That’s what everyone kind of seems to be hinting at. He’s going to get open short, deep and crossers. It’s going to happen. There’s no need to panic, no need to push to try to force him the ball. We’re coming along nicely.”
Said Wallace: “I want to make [deep catches] just as much as anybody. It’s not just about deep balls. You have to work on other things. Shorter routes. It’s not as easy as people think.”
After studying tape of the Jacksonville game, Tannehill second-guessed only one decision not to throw to Wallace. He completed a pass to Brandon Gibson on that play but said he could have connected with Wallace “if I had stayed in the pocket a little bit, kept my eyes downfield.”
• Tannehill has been flushed from the pocket several times and said that has an impact on his ability to spot receivers downfield.
“It’s huge,” he said. “Anything downfield is going to take a little bit of time to develop. If you’re having to move around quickly … you’re not going to be keep your eyes downfield and get the ball downfield. That’s one thing we were working on this week.”
• Nate Garner was the first-team right guard, with Josh Samuda spending his second day in a row exclusively at center after starting at right guard in the first two exhibition games.
Lance Louis, who had knee surgery last November, worked with the second team at right guard and said he is “working toward” making his preseason debut Saturday at Houston but stopped short of saying it’s definite.
• Defensive tackle Randy Starks, who hasn’t practiced in 10 days because of a knee injury, did rehabilitation work inside the practice bubble and was seen limping. Tight end Kyle Miller (ankle) also remains sidelined.
• Evan Rodriguez replaced Jorvorskie Lane as the first-team fullback.
• Richard Marshall and Dimitri Patterson continue to alternate first-team snaps at the starting cornerback spot opposite Brent Grimes, with Nolan Carroll and Will Davis working on the second team.
Cornerback Jamar Taylor, a second-round pick who has been slowed by soreness from his sports hernia surgery, will be given an increased workload and hopes to play Saturday at Houston.
“The good news is he’s been in the classroom, has a sense of the scheme,” Philbin said. “But [practice] is a better teacher than the classroom. You try to get him as many reps as you possibly can.”