Injury developments could heavily swing Dolphins’ Week 4 contest
The 2020 Miami Dolphins campaign hasn’t gotten off to the fastest of starts — the team sits at 1-2 through the first three weeks of the season and endured frustratingly narrow losses to the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots along the way, but now look to climb back to .500 on the season in Week 4. There’s just one little problem: the Dolphins are scheduled to face off against the Seattle Seahawks and, more specifically, the early favorite to claim the 2020 NFL Most Valuable Player award, Russell Wilson.
Miami is going to have to catch some breaks along the way if they hope to derail Wilson’s torrid start and knock Seattle from the ranks of the unbeaten. But there’s a layer to this matchup that could actually break Miami’s way and add a lot of extra intrigue to the contest: injuries.
Three player injuries could end up going a long way in Miami decoding Seattle as a football team in Week 4, with variables at play for both teams.
Sep 13, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back James White (28) rushes against Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones (24) during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY sports
Dolphins CB Byron Jones
Jones left Miami’s Week 2 loss to the Buffalo Bills on the opening defensive possession with a groin injury — and Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs proceeded to torch the Dolphins as a result. Miami will need all hands on deck to help corral Seattle’s 1-2 punch of D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett at wide receiver. Of all of Miami’s defenders, Jones is the most explosive big athletes that would give the Dolphins the best possible chance to contain Metcalf down the field.
But is two weeks enough of a timetable to get Jones back into the action? If not, look for Miami to implement Xavien Howard against Metcalf and Noah Igbinoghene against Tyler Lockett — a dangerous coverage blend when you consider how lethal Lockett was against the Cowboys. Igbinoghene will be plenty good with time, but Lockett has the ability to turn him around in coverage much like Stefon Diggs did. He’s that good of a route runner.
Carson is the Seahawks primary ball carrier and he’s been a steady producer for Seattle’s offense as of late. But Carson left Seattle’s win against the Dallas Cowboys late in the game thanks to a dirty play for Dallas defensive tackle Trysten Hill, who rolled with Carson’s leg in his grasp while on the ground.
The early diagnosis is being reported as a knee sprain for Carson: is it minor enough for Carson to miss the game? Or will he be able to play through the tweak? The loss of Carson would definitely set Seattle’s ground attack back against the Dolphins.
The bad news: Jamal Adams is on the Seattle Seahawks now. The Dolphins know him all too well for his time in New York with the Jets.
The good news: Adams hasn’t had success in the win column against Miami anyway (no, safety wins are not a stat).
Whether or not we see Adams is up in the air— given that he left the game against Dallas last night late in the game and did not return with a groin injury. Dolphins CB Byron Jones missed Week 3 on a short week with a similar injury; if Adams is forced to miss Week 4, it would boost Miami’s chances to find consistent success on offense considerably.