Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan not only appears healthy enough to play in Sunday’s season opener, but defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle went a step further Monday.
“He’s going to have a significant role in the game plan this week, I guarantee you that,” Coyle told reporters.
Coyle wouldn’t say what that role would be, for competitive reasons. But with Olivier Vernon locked in as the starting defensive end opposite Cameron Wake, most surmise Jordan will be used as a situational pass-rusher.
All signs point to Jordan playing some special teams, too. He worked on the kickoff coverage team Monday, lining up to the immediate right of kicker Caleb Sturgis. It’s the same job he had at Oregon.
“I guess because my size and my speed,” Jordan said. “I feel like once I get down there, it’s hard for one of the little guys to block me. I’m a competitor. So any time I’m able to get out there and help the team, I’m down for it. I wouldn’t question my athletic ability for anything that goes on.”
Jordan missed the last three preseason games after again hurting his surgically repaired shoulder. He said last week that he “can play” in the opener if asked to do so.
“Nothing’s really changed my mind,” Jordan said. “My mind-set’s still to continue to work, as far as my rehab, my strength. Get as much work as I can out there on the field, because that’s going to determine how well I play, or even if I play coming this week.”
ROOKIE CORNERBACKS AILING
The Dolphins raised more than a few eyebrows when they kept 11 defensive backs on their 53-man roster.
A likely reason why: Two rookie corners expected to contribute both are iffy – at best – for Sunday.
Will Davis, who missed the preseason finale with a foot injury, sat out practice Monday and wore a walking boot during the portion open to the media. Fellow rookie corner Jamar Taylor, who missed parts of the preseason with a sports hernia issue, also was sidelined.
The Dolphins are said to be erring on the side of caution with Taylor, and probably will do so for the next couple of weeks. Meaning: He likely won’t play Sunday against Cleveland.
Taylor had surgery on the sports hernia back in the spring, but re-aggravated the injury during training camp, causing him to miss time.
• Mike Sherman was again asked Monday about his spring prediction that Ryan Tannehill would be the most-improved quarterback this year – a statement that has dogged him since.
“It’s the quote of the year obviously,” Sherman added. “You guys won’t let me forget it and neither will coach [Joe] Philbin.”
• New fullback Tyler Clutts is a good sport about the pronunciation of his last name, which is klutz.
“Luckily, I was bigger than most everybody, so it wasn’t too bad,” Clutts said. “You know the older guys give me a bad time. You run with it. You learn to deal with it. I feel bad for my wife. She grew up with a different last name and had to change it.”
• The Dolphins announced their full practice squad Monday. It includes cornerback De’Andre Presley, safety Jordan Kovacs, offensive linemen Sam Brenner and Jason Weaver, defensive tackle Al Lapuaho, tight end Kyle Miller and receivers Brian Tyms and Marvin McNutt.
• Miami Dolphins players and cheerleaders will hand out roughly 125 backpacks and school supplies to students from Miami-Dade and Broward County schools and the NFL YET Center Wednesday afternoon.
• Guard Danny Watkins, a former first-round pick released over the weekend by the Eagles, has a tryout scheduled with the Dolphins, Howard Balzer reported Monday on Twitter.