Andre Branch’s production was one of many disappointments for the 2017 Dolphins, leading to their 6-10 record.
The Dolphins made Branch one of the highest-paid 4-3 defensive ends last season, granting him a three-year, $24 million contract. But he responded with just 23 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks.
Branch had a legitimate reason for his dip in production. An unspecified knee injury kept him out of two games and limited his play in many more. He suggested in an interview with the Miami Herald that he would need to get the knee fixed when the season ended.
On Wednesday, that day appeared to arrive.
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Before 7 a.m. Wednesday, Branch posted two pictures of himself in a hospital bed, with the caption: “Time to get fixed up. Surgery ready.”
True to his upbeat nature, Branch was smiling in one of those pictures.
Hours later, he provided an update:
“Successful surgery,” he wrote. “Appreciate everyone for the support and well wishes. I’ll be back better than ever.”
The exact nature of Branch’s injury and his timetable to return were not immediately known, but he certainly has time to heal. Training camp is still six months off.
He is one of several Dolphins to have surgery in recent weeks.
Dolphins guard Jermon Bushrod, who missed the season’s last six games with a foot injury, sent out a very similar tweet on Jan. 22.
Bushrod, who won the media good-guy award in 2017, was not sure if he had played his last game when he last spoke with reporters.
Branch, meanwhile, expects to play a long time — and at a higher level than he did in 2017.