The Miami Dolphins flew into Houston for their 3rd pre-season game. They will fly back to Miami with more than a 1-2 record. Midway through the 2nd quarter, the Dolphins watched as starting TE Dustin Keller took a shot to the knee. While there is no confirmed reports yet on his status, most believe this injury will cost him his season.
The play occurred as Miami gave deep work to it’s starting offense in an effort to get them more acclimated to each other after two weeks of brisk performances. Keller tried to haul in a Ryan Tannehill pass at the first down marker when he was hit low by Houston Texan defender D.J. Swearinger. Swearinger’s helmet collided with Keller’s planted right leg bending his knee backwards and inwards.
Keller immediately ripped off his helmet and grabbed his leg. Trainers rushed to him and he was removed from the field on a cart…a usually bad sign.
The Dolphins guaranteed Keller 4.5 millon on a one year deal this past off-season as a free agent. A legit seam threat TE, Keller and Ryan Tannehill has built a solid relationship through off-season workout and their connections on the field were starting to show. Including a 26 yard TD pass last week. Earlier tonight, Tannehill connected with Keller on a 14 yard reception on Keller’s first play of the game.
The Dolphins are now very thin at TE. They have no regular season experience. Kyle Miller was on the practice squad and Michael Egnew was active for only two games but didn’t take the field. Dion Sims is a rookie and none of those three are considered seam threat TE’s. Charles Clay is a hybrid TE and lacks the speed to be a legit target under the coverage where Keller made his moves.
Making matters worse a rash of injuries around the NFL at the position has left the free agent market thin as well. The Dolphins will likely begin making calls immediately tomorrow and not waiting for an official diagnosis. Dallas Clark signed with the Ravens last week. If and it’s a big “IF” Keller is not lost of the season, it will be one of the luckiest breaks the Dolphins will get this season.