Two weeks ago Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey told the team he wanted to play despite a recurring hip injury that had kept him sidelined most of the season. The Dolphins didn’t let that happen.
Last week ... same thing. Pouncey said he wanted to play and the Dolphins said not yet.
But Tuesday morning, after consultation with the team’s medicall staff and a specialist attending to Pouncey, the Dolphins decided to shut down their center for the remainder of the season.
The Dolphins decided to place Mike Pouncey on injured reserve, ending his season. Pouncey learned of the decision in the early in the morning.
The team effectively took the decision of whether Pouncey would play or not out of the player’s hands.
It is feared that if the Dolphins let Pouncey play now or at any point the remainder of this year, he might further damage the hip that has already undergone surgery once and flared up again during a practice in San Diego a month ago. Pouncey has struggled with hip injuries recently and has had surgery on both the left and right hip.
The good news?
The Dolphins are hopeful that if Pouncey continues his current course to recovery without any setbacks, the current injury would not become a career-threatening issue. So Pouncey will be free to return in 2017.
The Dolphins will have an open roster spot and are likely to use that on a quarterback.
The team needs a backup quarterback to line up behind new starter Matt Moore the remainder of the season. Moore will start Saturday evening against the New York Jets and beyond, as starter Ryan Tannehill attends to the partially torn ACL and MCL injury in his left knee.
It was believed the Dolphins might promote rookie Brandon Doughty from the practice squad but that seems less likely now. That means the team will be signing a quarterback.
The Dolphins today also will be making a decision on defensive end Dion Jordan. He has been practicing the past three weeks as part of the opportunity afforded him and the team while he has been on the reserve non-football injury list.
The Dolphins can opt to keep Jordan on that list the remainder of the season -- effectively shutting him down for the rest of the season -- or activate him onto the 53-man roster. That decision is based on whether the team feels it has a need at defensive end and whether Jordan has shown in practice he is ready to play and contribute.
It has all but been decided, however, that Jordan will remain on NFI.
As for Pouncey, he finishes the season having started five games. While Anthony Steen has done a satisfactory job starting the other games in his place, the Dolphins consider Pouncey an elite NFL center who cannot easily be replaced.
Two weeks ago, a Dolphins source called Pouncey the team’s best offensive lineman -- high praise considering Branden Albert has been selected to multiple Pro Bowls and Laremy Tunsil has played well his rookie season after being selected in the first round of the last NFL draft.
Pouncey, 27, is expected to be ready and available for the Dolphins offseason conditioning program and all the spring and summer camps in 2017.