Why the Miami Dolphins Will Be Alright Without Dustin Keller

Dilan AmesCorrespondent IAugust 18, 2013

Dion Sims will have a chance to become the starting tight end of the Miami Dolphins.
Dion Sims will have a chance to become the starting tight end of the Miami Dolphins.Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller suffered a gruesome knee injury in Saturday night’s game against the Houston Texans, and Sunday’s reports confirmed the worst: According to Alex Marvez and Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, Keller will miss the entire 2013 season with three torn ligaments and a dislocated knee.

This news comes after the Dolphins gave Keller a one-year, $4.25 million contract last March, hoping he would be the security blanket that Ryan Tannehill needed. 

Now that Keller is officially lost for the season, the team is left with second-year tight end Michael Egnew and rookie Dion Sims

Egnew, a third-round pick by Miami last year, has had a pretty underwhelming career so far. One could argue that he hasn’t gotten a whole lot of chances, but he didn’t make the impact he needed to make in last year’s preseason to garner more reps.

Still, Egnew has good size and ability, and now that the door is open for him, he could come in and impress. Now that he’s had a year to digest the offense and grow within the system, he could finally make the leap. 

Sims is also a very interesting guy. He seemingly has the whole package—size, speed and excellent hands. He was drafted with the hope that he'd become the blocking tight end Anthony Fasano was, and his threat as a big-bodied red-zone target makes him a serious candidate to become the team's starting tight end.

You can probably expect some growing pains with Sims, but once he fully makes the adjustment to the NFL, watch out. 

Besides those two guys, there’s another player (who’s not even listed as a tight end) who may end up being the best option right away. Charles Clay, a fullback, has shown good hands out of the backfield in the past, and it wouldn't be an insurmountable leap for him to move from fullback to tight end. 

In the past two years, Clay has recorded 34 catches for 445 yards and five touchdowns. If he were to move into a prominent role as a receiver, those numbers would greatly increase and Miami could have its answer at tight end. 

It could be one, none or even all of these guys that step up for the Dolphins, but one thing is for sure: They have options—and pretty good ones at that.