Already without one of their best defensive players in Reshad Jones, the Miami Dolphins have lost their other starting safety for the duration of the season.
According to a source, the Dolphins intend to place Isa Abdul-Quddus on season-ending injured reserve after he sustained an injury in the neck and shoulder region on Saturday against Buffalo.
The Dolphins plan to promote undrafted rookie A.J. Hendy from their practice squad to replace him, according to a league source.
[Update: The Dolphins just announced the aforementioned news.]
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Players on injured reserve are not eligible to return for postseason.
Abdul-Quddus, lured away from Detroit with a three-year, $12.75 million contract this past offseason, generally has played well, finishing the season with 78 tackles, two interceptions, one sack and five passes defended in 15 games, all starts.
Pro Football Focus rated Jones sixth and Abdul-Quddus 31st among 92 qualifying safeties.
Jones played in only six games before going on injured reserve with a season-ending shoulder injury.
Michael Thomas, one of the Dolphins’ top special team players, likely will replace Abdul-Quddus in the lineup alongside Bacarri Rambo, who was signed in October after Jones’ injury.
PFF ranks Thomas 79th and Rambo 85th among the 92 qualifying safeties.
Thomas, who has received some playing time at nickel corner this season, has 41 tackles, two forced fumbles and a pass defended in 15 games this season, including six starts. He has made 21 starts in four NFL seasons, all with the Dolphins.
Rambo has 35 tackles and an interception in eight games this season, including five starts.
Thomas and Abdul-Quddus are expected to be backed up by special teams ace Walt Aikens, who hasn’t had a defensive snap all season, according to PFF, and Hendy, who impressed the Dolphins in training camp and has spent the season on Miami’s practice squad.
Dolphins defensive backs will be tested by a Patriots team that ranks first in the NFL in total offense and passing offense. New England quarterback Tom Brady has thrown 25 touchdown passes and just two interceptions in 11 games.
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