Miami Dolphins First-Round Rookie Jared Odrick Out Six Week with Broken Fibula
The Miami Dolphins came out of their season opener against the Buffalo Bills with a victory, but the win did not come without a price.
Despite initial reports of a "deep bone bruise," rookie first-round defensive end Jared Odrick is expected to miss six weeks with a broken fibula, according to a report on NFL.com.
Selected 28th overall out of Penn State in April's draft, Odrick secured the Dolphins' starting right defensive end job after a season-ending Achilles' injury to Phillip Merling.
After a largely uneventful preseason, Odrick recorded a tackled for a loss against the Bills and was highly disruptive during the game. He suffered the leg injury during the third quarter of action.
The Dolphins re-signed defensive end Lionel Dotson off the Denver Broncos' practice squad for depth on Wednesday, although no corresponding roster move has been announced.
Dotson has played four games for the Dolphins over the past two seasons after being drafted in the seventh round in 2008. He was waived during final cuts.
This is a tough blow to the Dolphins' defensive line if true, as the team is not nearly as deep as it was with Merling's injury and the release of veterans Marques Douglas and Charles Grant last week.
While Dotson does add some experience and familiarity, he's not a legitimate starter and I'd prefer to not even have him play much at all.
Although it's possible the Dolphins could move nose tackle Randy Starks back to right end and start Paul Soliai, which would probably give them the most overall talent up front, I'd expect Starks to stay put and for Tony McDaniel and Dotson to work in Odrick's place.
The Dolphins can probably get by with McDaniel starting for a month and a half due to the rest of the talent on the line, but personally, I think the team is crazy if they don't re-sign at least one of Douglas or Grant.
Both players played well in the preseason and have the experience and talent to rotate in at defensive end. Neither would have their salary guaranteed either, since they weren't on the team's roster for Week 1.
The Dolphins defense is ranked first in the league after playing a lowly Bills opponent in the opener, but they'll need all the help they can get heading into the meat of their schedule.
[Update: Armando Salguero reports Odrick has only a "slight fracture" and will miss a maximum of two weeks.]
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Chris J. Nelson majored in journalism at Georgia State University and is currently a programming coordinator for Turner Sports in Atlanta. He operates his own Miami Dolphins website, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight, and he can be followed on Twitter here.
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