In an expected move, the Dolphins placed defensive end Dion Jordan on the NFL’s reserve non-football injury list, meaning the earliest he would be eligible to return is Miami’s seventh game, Oct. 23 against Buffalo.
Jordan hasn’t played since the 2014 season, when he had 20 tackles and a sack in 10 games for Miami. He was suspended in April 2015 for multiple violations of the NFL’s drug policy and was reinstated conditionally on July 29.
But the Dolphins then learned he had undergone knee surgery earlier in the summer. Jordan is still recovering from that surgery and isn’t ready to play.
The NFL’s conditional reinstatement requires Jordan to undergo counseling and be reevaluated before the start of the regular season. Jordan, drafted third overall in 2013, has three sacks in 26 games.
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Jordan is still in the process of returning the $3.35 million signing bonus the Dolphins gave him when he signed, and the Dolphins are being patient with that. That bonus exceeds what Jordan would earn this season.
Asked whether he expects Jordan to help the team after six games, coach Adam Gase said: “Hard for me to answer because I’ve never seen him play live. The biggest thing for me is helping him make sure he’s doing everything right in our building and outside our building.”
The Dolphins also placed linebacker Zach Vigil on the non-football injury list because of a back issue that has sidelined him since the start of training camp. The Dolphins are hopeful he will be able to return after six games or soon after.
Undrafted last year of Utah State, Vigil had 18 tackles in 16 games, including two starts.
The moves with Jordan and Vigil allowed the Dolphins to reach the 75-player roster limit hours before Tuesday’s deadline. Teams must cut to 53 players by Saturday.
▪ After missing two weeks with a hamstring injury earlier in camp, receiver DeVante Parker again has a hamstring problem and will sit out Thursday’s preseason finale against Tennessee, Gase said, calling him “day to day.” Gase spoke of players needing to do “all the little things you have to do” to increase the chances of staying healthy.
“Eventually you get tired of being the guy standing on the sideline,” Gase said of Parker. “I do think he’s a little frustrated. He’s been the odd man out all the time.”
▪ Asked about the progress of rookie receivers Jakeem Grant (who played just five offensive snaps against Atlanta) and Leonte Carroo (who played eight), Gase said: “It’s the execution point of knowing what to do, being in the right spot. We’ve had a couple times when both those guys had their moments of having mistakes where quarterback thinks they’re going to do one thing and [they] do something different.”
▪ Whether playing at a faster pace, without much huddling, makes the Dolphins offense any more efficient remains to be seen.
But Dolphins players believe they’re already gaining a psychological advantage. Jarvis Landry said exhausted Cowboys defenders were vomiting while trying to keep up with the Dolphins offense in the first half of their second preseason game.
And against Atlanta last Thursday, quarterback Ryan Tannehill said: “You can definitely see just the number of plays starting to wear on guys.”
▪ Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, sidelined for much of August with a calf injury, said he expects to be ready for the Sept. 11 opener against Seattle.