The nightmare scenario occurred for the Dolphins midway through the second quarter:
They lost tight end Dustin Keller, a critical piece of their offense, to an apparent knee injury in a meaningless game.
Keller was injured when the Texans’ D.J. Swearinger hit him in the right leg with his helmet while trying to break up a pass. Keller dropped the ball and fell to the ground in obvious pain.
He needed to be carted off the field. The severity of the injury was not immediately known. The Dolphins do not disclose any information about injuries during the preseason.
The injury came on the Dolphins’ fifth drive — long after the Texans had pulled their starters. Even Miami’s first-team defense had been off the field for several possessions by that point.
When the 1972 Dolphins make their long-awaited visit to the White House on Tuesday, there will be at least three members of the team noticeably absent.
“I don’t belong there,” said Kuechenberg, and offensive lineman who spent 14 years with the Dolphins, including the famed undefeated season. “It’s about that simple.”
Added Fernandez, a defensive tackle on that championship team: “I am diametrically opposed to this administration. I’m close to all the players, so I’m disappointed that it might have come during this administration.”
Defensive end Dion Jordan missed Saturday’s game, a week after apparently aggravating a shoulder injury that has bedeviled the third overall draft pick since last year. Jordan had surgery on the torn labrum before the draft.
The Dolphins were also without defensive tackle Randy Starks (knee), guard John Jerry (knee) and tight end Kyle Miller (ankle).
However, the Dolphins did get a couple of key pieces back. Cornerback Jamar Taylor (sports hernia), guard Lance Louis (knee) and cornerback Rishard Matthews (undisclosed) were all in uniform for the first time this preseason. Quarterback Pat Devlin also dressed after missing practice last week.
During CBS-4’s pregame show, Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland — who doesn’t often speak during the season — weighed in on a number of issues.