Emmanuel Ogbah’s season ends before it ever got going, but Dolphins set up well heading into bye – The Denver Post


As much as the Dolphins are riding high, the Sunday evening news on defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah’s injury put a slight damper on Miami’s 39-17 win over the Cleveland Browns that put the team atop the AFC East at 7-3 heading into the bye week.

Ogbah’s season, already filled with disappointment, came to an end, according to a league source, after a triceps tear that will require surgery.

“It was very unfortunate for him,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said Monday. “He is one of the type of veteran players that didn’t take his investment to the organization lightly, and it just seems like he’s just had hiccup after hiccup. It’s just been unfortunate luck this season.”

He was initially said to have exited Sunday’s game at Hard Rock Stadium with an elbow injury when he left in the second quarter of the convincing victory.

Ogbah, who turned 29 on Nov. 6, never really looked like himself this season after signing a four-year, $65 million contract minutes before his free agency would’ve opened up to other teams in March.

He recorded just one sack and 11 tackles in eight games played. That for a defensive end that led the Dolphins with nine sacks each of the past two seasons in order to earn that kind of deal.

In the past, he had stretches where the sacks weren’t coming but he was still just missing them, a step slow with quarterback hits instead. But even there, Ogbah’s seven on the year was off the pace of the 24 and 21 he had in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

A hallmark of Ogbah’s game had become getting his hand up and deflecting passes at the line of scrimmage when he couldn’t reach the passer, but he wasn’t doing that either. He was without a pass deflection after finishing with an astonishing 12 last season.

All that said, McDaniel felt Ogbah was starting to come around up to the point of the play where he was injured.

“His injury occurred on a play that really fired me up,” McDaniel said. “He really set the edge on the right tackle and stayed in for a play because it just felt weird.”

The good news for Miami is the team just recently set itself up to be better prepared to deal with such a loss, acquiring standout edge defender Bradley Chubb in a deal with the Denver Broncos at the trade deadline two weeks ago.

Despite never having the Ogbah that Dolphins fans have become accustomed to seeing on the edge the past two years, the team can utilize more defensive lines of Raekwon Davis flanked by Christian Wilkins and Zach Sieler on either side of him.

“Just going to have — what’s occurred all season at every position — have to have guys step up and account for his production and his missing voice in the locker room,” McDaniel said.

With four solid outside linebackers in Chubb, Jaelan Phillips, Melvin Ingram and Andrew Van Ginkel, defensive coordinator Josh Boyer can opt for more packages where Chubb or Phillips have a hand in the ground in a three-man front.

Various combinations of front-seven defenders got to Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett on Sunday, and all three Dolphins sacks were split between two rushers bringing him down. Miami got 14 quarterback hits on Brissett.

It hurts that the Dolphins lost Trey Flowers to a foot injury a month back. McDaniel had no update on him Monday as the veteran edge defender remains on injured reserve. Otherwise, he could play a larger role in the team’s effort to replace Ogbah, who missed one game previously, on Oct. 23 against the Steelers with a back ailment. An outside option will likely get a look this week.

But the Dolphins are in an overall positive spot, on a four-game winning streak to get to 7-3 and sitting alone atop the AFC East with an idle week on tap. On the other side of the bye is a home game against the Houston Texans (1-7) that takes Miami through the end of the November.

Then, it’s a challenging final month-plus stretch: at San Francisco, at Los Angeles Chargers, at Buffalo, vs. Green Bay, at New England and a home finale against the New York Jets.

Jackson return to action

Right tackle Austin Jackson was active Sunday for the first time since the Sept. 11 opener against the New England Patriots, but he did not play against the Browns.

McDaniel said that was by design in his first game available from his high-ankle sprain, and Jackson could return to the lineup after the bye week.

“We felt like, if we could get through this game and we just loved his progress and he could not have a setback, we’d be out of the woods as best we can control,” McDaniel said. “He was there for emergency. We were hoping not to have to play him and were fortunate not to.”

In recent weeks, veteran Brandon Shell has held down the right tackle spot admirably. At left guard, Liam Eichenberg suffered a knee injury that landed him on IR, but Robert Jones has been sound filling in there.

Other notes

McDaniel expressed his belief in kicker Jason Sanders on Monday, even after missing three short kicks in the past two weeks — first, a 29-yard field goal in Chicago on Nov. 6 and then two failed extra points Sunday.

“He has given me no reason to believe that he won’t get things corrected,” McDaniel said. “Jason holds himself to a high degree of scrutiny and has had demands of himself, so he expects more.”

The Dolphins await word on cornerback and special teamer Keion Crossen’s shoulder injury that also caused him to exit in the first half Sunday. As of McDaniel’s afternoon press conference, he didn’t have an update.



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