Mike Pouncey Reportedly Expected to Be Ready for Season After Hip Injury

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2017

DAVIE, FL - AUGUST 8: Mike Pouncey #51 and Branden Albert #76 of the Miami Dolphins talk prior to the start of the teams training camp on August 8, 2016 at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, "A source very close to Dolphins center Mike Pouncey said the expectation is he will be ready for the regular season opener, barring an unexpected setback."

Pouncey, 27, has been dealing with hip issues this offseason, along with a bacterial infection in his thigh that has since been treated. But Jackson reported, "The Dolphins have said they're hopeful of having him for all 16 games but haven't said anything more definitive than that, leaving some questions."

When healthy, Pouncey is one of the best centers in football and is a three-time Pro Bowler. Injuries have cost him 19 games over the past four seasons, however, and he missed 11 of those last season due to issues with his hip. 

Without Pouncey as its anchor, the offensive line played poorly for the Dolphins, ranking 30th in the NFL, according to Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus:

"The loss of Pouncey hurt this team in a major way, and he went down after just 301 snaps of action. Jermon Bushrod was a huge problem at RG all season, allowing five sacks and 34 total QB pressures as a pass blocker. He was also disastrous in the run game, with a 34.9 run-blocking grade, making him the lowest-graded guard league-wide in that facet. Rookie Laremy Tunsil flashed talent throughout the year, but had as many bad games as good ones..."

Tunsil will be moved to left tackle this year, with Branden Albert no longer on the Dolphins, while Bushrod and Ted Larsen will likely start at guard and Ja'Wuan James at right tackle. Clearly, however, Pouncey is the lynchpin of the team's offensive line. 

If Pouncey isn't ready to go to start the season, the Dolphins will turn to Kraig Urbik, Larsen or Anthony Steen, with Urbik the frontrunner to be next on the depth chart.