The Miami Dolphins are placing Jordan Cameron on the injured reserve list Saturday -- a move that signals the tight end’s season is over, his time with the team has effectively ended, and casts serious doubt about Cameron’s NFL future.
Cameron has not played since suffering a concussion in the Sept. 25 game against Cleveland. It is the fourth concussion Cameron suffered in the past four years.
This one has been very serious because the player and the team agreed for the sake of his long term health stretching beyond football he should not return to the field unless and until he was 100 percent.
Cameron visited a specialist to consult about his prognosis recently and a league source said it was decided although he was making some progress, he would not be 100 percent for some time. That was disappointing news for the player and the team.
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The Dolphins will have two available roster spots to fill. They will promote tight end Thomas Duarte from the practice squad and activate linebacker Zach Vigil from the reserve non-football injury list.
The Dolphins need Duarte for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets because Dion Sims, who suffered a concussion against Pittsburgh October 16, has already been designated as "out" for the game. Duarte’s game day role Sunday may come mostly on special teams as well as provide insurance in case of injury to players ahead of him.
Vigil has been a good special teams player in the past and even earned some playing time on defense.
MarQueis Gray and Dominique Jones will continue to get the tight end snaps on offense against the Jets as they have the past two games.
For Cameron, this concussion has become a life-changing event. Because he had a concussion in 2012, another in 2013 and another in 2014, the player and Dolphins have been careful about any return to action. Cameron showed signs of improvement within the NFL’s concussion protocol recently to the point he had begun non-contact physical activities.
But because he won’t be available the rest of this season and is in the final season of his Dolphins contract, it is obvious there will be a parting of ways after this season. Cameron had to accept a pay-cut in the offseason simply to remain with the Dolphins this year because even during a 2015 season in which he started all 16 games his production was a modest 35 catches for 386 yards and three touchdowns.
So the Dolphins will be looking for tight end help next offseason.
Cameron’s NFL career is also in jeopardy because he has expressed concerns about his long term health to people close to him, suggesting he will consider retiring. Cameron has been in the league since 2011.