The Miami Dolphins will need to replace Jaelan Phillips after he ruptured his Achilles on Friday. Who might be able to replace him?
With their win against the Jets last night the Miami Dolphins improved to 8-3. Unfortunately, yesterday's win came with a price. Jaelan Phillips went out yesterday with a tear in his Achilles tendon. This is a big blow to the young linebacker from the University of Miami. Phillips was just starting to heat up in Vic Fangio's system. The absence of Phillips in the Miami Dolphins' defense will definitely be felt.
The Dolphins are in the midst of competing for a Super Bowl. The loss of Phillips is horrible but, the attitude needs to be "next man up." Emmanuel Ogbah is a 4-3 defensive tackle who has struggled in Vic Fangio's system. Who can the Dolphins bring in this late in the season who might be able to help down the stretch and in the playoffs?
One of the first players that comes to mind is Melvin Ingram. Melvin Ingram recorded 6 sacks last season with the Miami Dolphins in limited action. Ingram is a familiar face in the building and still has a lot to offer when rushing the passer. The question would be, can Ingram drop back into coverage in Vic Fangio's zone scheme defense?
Another free agent that Chris Grier could pursue is Shaquille Leonard. The former Defensive Rookie of the Year was surprisingly cut by the Indianapolis Colts this week. Leonard fell out of favor in Indianapolis and his lack of playing time and the organizations' new direction resulted in his being released.
During his rookie year, Leonard had 163 tackles, 7 sacks and 12 tackles for loss. Leonard sustained multiple injuries between the 2021 and 2022 seasons; most notably back surgery. The 28 year old Outside Linebacker still has a lot left in the tank. A move to the Miami Dolphins just might be what the doctor ordered.
Edge rusher, Carlos Dunlap is another free agent the Miami Dolphins could pursue to replace Phillips on the edge. Much like Melvin Ingram, Dunlap can be used on a part-time basis. Dunlap would bring a veteran presence with Super Bowl experience to the Dolphin locker room. Much like Ingram, can Dunlap drop back in coverage when called upon?
With the trading deadline having passed for the season, the Dolphins definitely find themselves shopping for a bargain. Chris Grier and his staff will have to search far and wide to fill the void left by Jaelan Phillips. It will be up to Mike McDaniel and his coaches to make it work.