Jaelen Phillips started the injury train on Black Friday suffering a torn Achilles tendon against the New York Jets. Phillips was really starting to find his groove before the injury and was on pace to record double-digit sacks.
Phillips' running mate, Bradley Chubb was next onboard when he tore his ACL during garbage time against the Baltimore Ravens. Many asked why he was still in the game at the time of the injury. Chubb was having an outstanding season with 11 sacks and five forced fumbles. Chubb was also excelling in fitting the run.
In week 18 the Dolphins suffered two more injuries to the group. Andrew Van Ginkel left the game with a foot injury. The extent of the injury has yet to be determined but he was quickly ruled out of the rest of the game
Also lost in the game against the Bills was Cameron Goode. Goode has been predominantly a special teams guy playing very limited snaps but was forced into a greater role due to the previously mentioned injuries. Goode’s injury did not look good as he was carted off with an air cast on his leg.
The Dolphins finished week 18 with exactly two healthy edge rushers. Recently signed Melvin Ingram and Emmanuel Ogbah. Whether Van Ginkel plays or not next week the Dolphins will most likely be in the market for an edge player and even more likely two.
Here’s a look at some possible players who Chris Grier might put a call into.
Jason Pierre Paul - The first and most likely call will go out to Jason Pierre Paul. Paul was brought in earlier this season after Jaelen Phillips went down. Having at least been in the system for a couple of weeks will shorten the learning curve on an already short week.
Justin Houston - One interesting name out there is Justin Houston. Houston was released from the Carolina Panthers three weeks ago and has yet to sign on with anyone else. Houston played in just nine games for Carolina totaling just eight tackles and a half a sack. This year certainly was a disappointment but he was coming off a 9.5 sack season the prior year with Baltimore. Does this veteran have anything left in the tank to help out a depleted Dolphins edge rusher room and return to play a game in Kansas City where he spent his first eight seasons?
Frank Clark - Another former Chief could also be an option for Miami. Clark was most recently with the Seattle Seahawks. Like Houston, Clark did not have much of an impact on the Seahawks’ defense registering just eight total tackles. Clark was released just before the new year and again could provide another body.
Carlos Dunlap - Dunlap has not played a down in the NFL this season so it’s not even clear if he’s in playing shape. Dunlap last played in 2022 for the Kansas City Chiefs. Dunlap played in 17 games that season recording 39 total tackles as well as 4 sacks.
Trey Flowers - Is the youngest of this bunch having played a mere 6 plus seasons in the NFL. Flowers played four games for Miami in 2022. Flowers was signed by the Patriots at the beginning of the 2023 season. He started the season on the PUP list and was cut rather than activated.
Needless to say, the Dolphins are in a bit of a bind. The pool of players available at this time of the year is limited and there’s probably a reason why. Let’s hope Van Ginkel can play this week and a Dolphins can catch lightning in a bottle with a veteran signing.