Miami Dolphins lose Vince Biegel for the season
Injuries are an unfortunate reality football. Training camp often results in some key injuries. The Miami Dolphins learned first hand what that feels like.
As training camps have opened up across the NFL without fans and with limited media access, no one truly knows what is going on. On Tuesday, Dolphins fans got bad news in the form of a tweet or push notification. Pass rusher Vince Biegel had to be carted off the field with a lower leg injury. Later in the day, it was confirmed that Biegel tore his achilles tendon and will miss the 2020 season.
The injury is a blow to the Dolphins pass rush unit, as he was expected to be part of a rotational rush with a multitude of other players. Biegel was a pleasant surprise for Miami last season, leading the team with 13 quarterback hits. He also had 2.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss. Obviously, he is not an All-Pro pass rusher, but he was valuable to the team.
COVID-19 has made depth more valuable than ever in the NFL. The league expects some players to test positive and miss some time. Having depth at a premium position like pass rusher is something that gave Miami an advantage over other teams. Even in a regular year, depth on the defensive line proves valuable. Think of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, who constantly rotated rushers to keep guys fresh.
The Dolphins still have a great deal of depth in the front seven without Biegel. It feels unlikely that the team would go out and sign another starting caliber edge rusher. They have more guys who can play and saving cap space is a must. With revenue loss affecting future salary cap room, using roll-over cap space from 2020 can soften the blow.
Miami will have to find those reps that belonged to Biegel elsewhere. It could mean more snaps for youngsters like Andre Van Ginkel and Curtis Weaver. It may also mean that a player like Kyle Van Noy spends more time as a prototypical edge rusher. Head coach Brian Flores may elect to use Jerome Baker as a pass rusher more in 2020. He had some encouraging results there in 2019.