Nov. 15, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Davone Bess (15) reacts after missing a catch during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Buffalo defeats Miami 19 to 14. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Dolphins will not have Davone Bess on Sunday due to a back injury. They will not have LB Koa Misi on defense due to an ankle injury. The Dolphins who can’t afford to lose any of their starters will have to do without two of their most productive players this season.
Bess is the hardest to lose of the two. With over 750 yards receiving on 61 catches, Bess was closing in on the benchmark 1,000 yard season. While that will likely not be possible, the real question is who replaces him? Bess is a sure handed wide-receiver who can line up outside or inside in the slot. His ability to get open and make tight coverage catches has made him a go to target for the Dolphins since his arrival.
The likely choice will be Marlon Moore. Moore has been stellar this season on special teams, a reason he made the roster but in offensive packages, Moore has been pedestrian. He should see plenty of opportunities. Rishard Mathews has been seeing his name called as of late and on Sunday it’s very possible that the Dolphins will increase his play count considerably. With the team being out of the playoff chase, the Dolphins should be looking at all of their youngsters to get them some time and some tape to view in the off-season.
It’s unknown what Bess’ absence will mean for number 1 wideout Brian Hartline. The Jacksonville Jaguars will either take Hartline completely out of the game forcing Tannehill to throw to Moore and Mathews or he will have another double digit catch count as Tannehill pads Hartline’s numbers with targets that would have gone to Bess.
Defensively, I would be hard pressed to name another front seven defender who has made a big an impact as Koa Misi. Misi was on the verge of being run out of town by the fans but the Kevin Coyle defense has made Misi a force to be reckoned with. Misi has been all over the ball this season and despite a few missed plays has really outplayed most of the other team mates.
Misi has become relentless and with him being out on Sunday the Dolphins will get an extended look at LB Jason Trusnik. Trusnik was the relief LB last weekend when Misi went down and the Dolphins need to find out of he is going to give the team more than a simple back-up. In fact they will need to find out if he is worth of being a back-up. The extended playing time should help shed some light on his future with the team.
The Dolphins will face off Sunday against a Chad Henne led Jaguar team. It will be the first missed game of Davone Bess’ NFL career.