Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.
Sometimes you’re the bug and the car decides to veer off the road and run you down.
That’s the Miami Dolphins this year, or at least it feels like it is when rookie offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil misses a game because he slipped in the shower.
Putting aside the ridiculousness of the end of that sentence—Tunsil calls it a freak accident and there’s no arguing—this has not been the healthiest of seasons for the Dolphins and while that doesn’t explain all the bad play, it makes it much harder to turn around.
Here’s a look at the current list of walking wounded from Thursday’s practice report:
|DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE|
|Wednesday||TE Jordan Cameron (concussion), CB Xavien Howard (knee), S Reshad Jones (groin)|
|Thursday||TE Jordan Cameron (concussion), CB Xavien Howard (knee), S Reshad Jones (groin)|
|LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE|
|Wednesday||S Isa Abdul-Quddus (knee), RB Arian Foster (hamstring), TE MarQueis Gray (calf), LB Jelani Jenkins (groin), G Anthony Steen (ankle), T Laremy Tunsil (ankle)|
|Thursday||S Isa Abdul-Quddus (knee), RB Arian Foster (hamstring), LB Jelani Jenkins (groin), G Anthony Steen (ankle), T Laremy Tunsil (ankle)|
You can check out full lists for every week at the team website, and even Week 1 had a list going on.
Jordan Cameron is quite likely done for a long time and could be done for his career. The offensive line has been in a constant state of flux with some combination of center Mike Pouncey, left tackle Branden Albert and now Tunsil out. Arian Foster has been out since the middle of Week 2.
Various defensive players have been some degree of injured all season, with rookie cornerback Xavien Howard the harshest blow since he was actually playing the best of the sad bunch in the secondary.
He’s gone at least until Week 8, and likely longer given he just had knee surgery.
Yes, every team has injuries and every team gets more banged up as each week goes by. The Green Bay Packers used to have more people on injured reserve than they did on the offensive line and managed to win.
When you’re a team trying to build, though, a team attempting to fix some long-standing issues, you need your team on the field.
We can talk about how inconsistent Ryan Tannehill has been as much as we want, you can question whether he should be the long term answer for this franchise but you can’t ignore the fact that he hasn’t had a complete offensive line since preseason. Further, this was supposed to be an improved line, but how can you tell when Pouncey was out for as long as he was? Or Albert? And now Tunsil.
For an offensive line, consistency is vital and when you have to have a third string center in the mix, things are likely to end up bad.
Now, it could be that the Dolphins are just a bad team and would be bad regardless of the injuries they have sustained.
There’s no way to know right now, though. Until they find a way to get healthy, chances are things won’t get any better or the future, any clearer.
Laremy Tunsil slipping in the shower is ridiculous, but it’s just been that kind of season.