The Miami Dolphins were considering placing recently acquired offensive tackle Julien Davenport on the injured reserve Thursday evening after he injured his knee and fractured his tibia during practice earlier in the day, according to team and NFL sources.
The club is leaning toward going the injured reserve route which still gives the Miami the opportunity return Davenport to the roster after Week 8, per the club source. And regardless of what the team decides, Davenport will miss Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots and several more after that because of the injury.
The club is expected to insert recently signed J’Marcus Webb, a distant cousin to former Dolphins offensive tackle Richmond Webb, to take Davenport’s spot in the starting lineup. The club also must find a backup tackle to take to the game in case either Webb or starting left tackle Jesse Davis are injured -- a role Webb filled in the season-opener.
And the frustrating thing about this entire episode is it was indirectly caused by the Dolphins’ significantly flawed roster.
Davenport, you see, probably wouldn’t have even been in the practice repetition in which he was injured except for the fact a young player who took the previous repetition performed poorly. And coaches yanked that player -- who probably doesn’t belong on the roster -- out and inserted Davenport back in, per sources.
Davenport then suffered the injury when a defender hit the lineman’s leg.
So the Miami offensive line remains in turmoil.
Seven days prior to the start of the season, the Dolphins traded starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil to the Houston Texans. The deal which also sent receiver Kenny Stills and draft considerations to Houston got the Dolphins two first-round draft picks, a second-round pick, Davenport and special teams contributor Johnson Bademosi.
Davenport, primarily a left tackle for the Texans, was moved to right tackle where he started the season-opener against Baltimore.
Starting right tackle Jesse Davis, moved from right guard during training camp, was moved again after Tunsil was traded. He is now the starting left tackle.
Did we mention the Dolphins also acquired guard Danny Isidora from Minnesota six days prior to the game and he also started -- taking the right guard spot rookie Shaq Calhoun held all preseason?
Webb was then added to the unit only three days prior to Sunday’s game. In a huddle during practice on the Friday before the opener, starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had to introduce himself to Webb.
Webb was available after being cut by the Indianapolis Colts when they set their roster at 53.
Although Davenport’s knee is hyper-extended it is actually the fracture that will keep him sidelined between 3-6 weeks. The earliest Davenport is likely to be available if he is not placed on IR is Oct. 13 game against Washington, although that is a best-case scenario.
The advantage of putting Davenport on IR is it gives the Dolphins the ability to fill the roster spot while Davenport heals.