The Miami Dolphins will get a preview of what life on the offensive line may look like going forward without Pro-Bowl left tackle, Jake Long, as the Dolphins fear he may have suffered a torn triceps injury that could end his 2012 season. Depending on the extent of the injury, how the Dolphins play over the final four games and how Jonathan Martin fills in, yesterday’s 23-16 loss to the New England Patriots could very well have been Long’s last game with Miami.
Long is a free agent after this season. He is still expected to command a high salary, although his play has been down since toward the end of last season. Miami could opt to slap him with the franchise tag and try him out for one more season until they feel they have found a suitable replacement, or they could simply decide to part ways with their former No. 1 draft pick from the Michigan Wolverines.
If Long did in fact tear his triceps in the home loss to the Patriots, his season with the Dolphins will certainly be over. It will just be a matter of whether or not his career with the Dolphins will come to an end as well. Sources close to Long and Miami are saying they would be surprised if he plays another snap with Miami in 2012 and, personally, I believe he may not play another down with the team period.
Miami is a team undergoing change. At 5-7 this year, they still have an outside chance of competing for a playoff spot, but they would need a lot to happen. Staring up at so many teams with just four games would not be an easy task for Miami to accomplish. And despite the fact of whether or not Long has been himself this season, catching the teams ahead of them would have been a near monumental task for the Dolphins already. With a lack of talent already, especially on the offensive side of the ball, they need every healthy starter available to them for each and every play.
That will no longer be the case, and it appears as if a team who nobody felt would make the postseason to begin with will now live up to those expectations.
Joe Philbin has done wonders in Miami in his first season as head coach, but even he is no miracle worker.