No NFL pre-season games will be hard for these Miami Dolphins fringe players.
The NFL, according to USAToday, has agreed to cancel the 2020 pre-season schedule and several Miami Dolphins players are going to be in trouble.
Despite the fact that the NFL has agreed to increase the practice squad rules and roster size, the loss of pre-season games will hurt several players trying to make the roster.
We have been working on our 53 man roster predictions this week and will wrap up on Monday morning. That being said, the loss of pre-season doesn’t make it harder for the Miami Dolphins but it will impact players trying to make an impression on other teams around the league. There simply won’t be any tape for many players.
Three players that stand out immediately are defensive tackle Benito Jones, WR, Kirk Merritt, and tackle Nick Kaltmayer. Kaltmayer aren Jones are long shots to make the roster at best as is Merritt but all three had shots at the practice squad. With no exhibition season, it will make it harder to make an impression. Especially given the roster reduction to 80 players.
The NFL, due to the current pandamic has instructed all NFL teams to reduce their rosters to 80 players before the start of training camp. That means the Dolphins will already start the process of reduction.
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This is where it gets interesting for young players like tight end Chris Myarick who is on the edge of the roster. Entering his 2nd season, he has a little more experience than the rookies. Players like Chandler Cox would have benefited as well. It is not certain how the Dolphins will use Cox this year or if he will make the roster but pre season would have helped define that better.
At running back, players like Myles Gaskin and Kalen Ballage could use the pre-season to get much needed reps and impress other teams if they are released.
Miami Dolphins trades will also be effected by the lack of pre-season games.
Without pre-season, trade values will dip as well. Without being able to showcase a player on the field, four opportunities are gone to entice another team to make a move. Not that Miami would have a lot of offers but we have seen Chris Grier make something out of nothing before.
This is the new NFL, at least for 2020. The good news is there is at least NFL football on the horizon. Pre-season or not.