Jay Ajayi sustained a concussion during Miami Dolphins practice Monday, as feared, and he will miss at least a week of drills, sources familiar with the running back’s situation told The Miami Herald.
That is not the only injury issue the Dolphins are managing now.
The team is awaiting a second opinion on rookie receiver Isaiah Ford because an initial examination revealed he has meniscus damage to a knee that will require surgery. If that need for surgery is confirmed, it would cost Ford all of training camp and the preseason and possibly land him on injured reserve.
Ford was practicing as a slot receiver and was starting to gain traction as a backup possibility.
Former Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones, who has been on the non-football injury list because he strained a calf muscle while working out away from the team before training camp, passed his conditioning test earlier this week and will bea activated and practice Wednesday, per a source.
The Dolphins will not expose Jones to a full practice right away, however, as Jones will likely be limited.
The reason the Dolphins are going to be very cautious with Jones is that last year they allowed defensive tackle Earl Mitchell to return following a minor calf strain and he re-aggravated the injury, costing him much of training camp. Then he returned for the regular-season opener and re-aggravated the injury again and had to go on injured reserve with the designation to return later in the year.
Mitchell never played up to previous standards.
The Dolphins are going to be cautious there is no similar situation with Jones. He will have to convince trainers and coaches he is fully 100 percent before he practices and even then he will be eased back at a slow pace.
The most significant concern, however, remains Ajayi.
Although his concussion is considered mild, the Dolphins are wary of exposing the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher from a year ago to unnecessary contact. That is why once Ajayi is cleared to return to football activities, coaches are expected to be judicious with how much work Ajayi actually gets early in the preseason.
The Ajayi injury happened during a live tackling practice but it did not happen during a live contact period within the practice. The Dolphins were in a two-minute drill and Ajayi caught a pass. Safety T.J. McDonald rallied to the ball and bumped (thudded) Ajayi without taking him to the ground.
That is how the concussion happened.
Ajayi carried the football a career high 262 times and caught 27 passes and missed no games due to an injury in 2016.
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