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.
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.
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