The word out of Florida is that the Miami Dolphins will indeed be without starting CB Richard Marshall on Sunday as they travel to take on the Cincinnati Bengals.
This is a potential blow as A) the Bengals passing game is strong and B) Miami likely already considered themselves thin at the CB spot.
Last week we saw Marshall miss practice, and be listed as questionable, but he did play vs the Arizona Cardinals. If he cannot play this week then word is we will see 2nd year CB R.J. Stanford in his place.
Stanford is 5’10″ and was a RB for the Utah Utes, but during his freshman season he switched to CB. He was drafted in the 7th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. A few short weeks ago the ‘Phins claimed Stanford off of waivers.
He has impressed Joe Philbin with his special teams play as he is normally understanding the scheme/play-call and is normally in the right spot. Solid football IQ. Despite being relatively new to the CB position he is already good at reading and reacting to WR routes against him. He is not a particularly physical player, but does have closing speed and can read a play and break on the ball for a pass-deflection.
We know Sean Smith will draw the assignment of A.J. Green, but if the rumors are true and Marshall is out then Stanford could draw the assignment of Andrew Hawkins. Green is special, but ‘Phins phans cannot sleep on Hawkins as he is a yards-after-the-catch machine.
We are sure to see plenty of safety help for Stanford because it is a must to drop Hawkins immediately after he makes a catch. Stanford is more of a cut-tackler which may be problematic vs Hawkins.
Stanford’s lone career INT was during a week 17 game in 2011 where Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints hammered the Panthers 45-17.
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