Dolphins safety Brandon Jones’ knee injury is season-ending ACL tear – The Denver Post


The worst-case scenario for Miami Dolphins safety Brandon Jones and his knee injury has become reality.

Coach Mike McDaniel said Wednesday it was an anterior cruciate ligament tear that Jones suffered in last Sunday’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it will end the season for the Dolphins’ leading tackler through seven games.

“I feel terrible, absolutely terrible for a guy that was playing at a very, very high level,” McDaniel said.

The team felt his loss in a Wednesday morning film session.

“You could hear the hurt with the team when his highlights would come on, because there was a ton of them,” the Dolphins coach added.

McDaniel’s latest update before Wednesday was that there were still things the Dolphins’ medical staff was looking at to confirm the severity of the knee ailment, but he sounded discouraged about news that was forthcoming.

McDaniel did not reveal what the defensive plan Miami will go with to replace Jones, who officially was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, in his strong safety role.

Veteran Eric Rowe seems like the likely candidate, but against the Steelers, McDaniel used a combination of special-teamer Clayton Fejedelem and undrafted rookie Verone McKinley, a practice-squad elevation for the game.

“Those packages are ever-changing week by week,” said McDaniel, noting it has to do with utilizing player strengths given game circumstances. “From an offensive perspective, it makes it very difficult because you’ll see people move around.”

He offered that Rowe had shown encouraging signs, though.

“Eric had two of his best days of practice, specifically within the last week and he’s doing some real good stuff,” McDaniel said.

The Dolphins’ ailing secondary, with Nik Needham also out for the season with an Achilles tear and no imminent return for fellow cornerback Byron Jones (leg) from the physically-unable-to-perform list, is trying to return cornerbacks Kader Kohou and Keion Crossen to the lineup.

“I’m optimistic with those human beings, just knowing that we have a good collection of players on this team that I can trust how bad they want to play,” McDaniel said. “It killed them not to play in this last one, so I feel good about it in that, if it’s feasible, they’ll make the outing.”

Without Kohou and Crossen, Noah Igbinoghene and Justin Bethel stepped up as the second and third corners playing with All-Pro Xavien Howard. Each had an interception in the win over the Steelers with Igbinoghene’s sealing the victory in the final seconds.

Miami is also hoping to return defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, the team’s sack leader in 2021, after he missed the Steelers game with a back injury.

“He’s doing better,” McDaniel said.

“We knew the game before [against the Vikings] that he was going to have, to have a big game from how we’re going to operate as a defense. He rose to the challenge got nicked in the process. But hoping that we’re going to get him back on the field here soon, optimistic about [this Sunday against the Detroit Lions], but just because I know where his game was at, he was in a really good place. And he wants to get back there as soon as possible. I know he’ll do whatever it takes.”

This story will be updated.



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