Pouncey, who hasn’t played since October due to a recurring hip injury, has been a spectator for the Dolphins’ OTA practices, and doesn’t seem likely to return to action anytime soon.
Training camp is the more realistic goal for Pouncey, but there’s a chance the Dolphins start him out on the physically unable perform list even then. The plan for him to be available for all 16 regular season games, but that didn’t happen last year because of the injury he suffered in the preseason.
During Wednesday’s practice, the only one open to reporters this week, Pouncey did rehab with the Dolphins’ medical staff while his teammates were on the field.
“He’s good,” said backup center Kraig Urbik. “I don’t know if I can really comment on injuries but I know he’s feeling great and he wants to get out there. I think it’s just one of those things where you just have to take your time. Again, I’m not a doctor or anything like that, but I know Mike’s eager to get out there and practice. He wants to be out there with the guys. I think he’s eager and he’ll be ready for sure.”
Urbik is hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. He started six of the Dolphins’ last eight games last season, including the playoff loss in Pittsburgh.
Urbik is getting a lot of work with the starters this spring, but there’s competition to be the first interior lineman off the bench. Anthony Steen, who’s put on 10 pounds this offseason, and Jake Brendel are also in the mix.
But he wants to be more than merely a sub. He’s also in the mix to start at guard.
“We want to be more consistent game-in and game-out,” Urbik said. “I think we will this year. I think we know the mindset we have to have this year, being more consistent. We can’t have flashes of great games — 200 yards rushing and stuff like that — and then go out and have like 60 yards rushing. We have to protect the quarterback. We have to do a lot better job with that. We can be more consistent for sure.”