Injury To Dustin Keller Leaves Miami Dolphins Thin At Tight End

By Matthew Solomon
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the Miami Dolphins had very little production from their tight end position.  In fact, aside from Anthony Fasano, the Dolphins had the worst offensive numbers in the NFL from the tight end position. So during the offseason, the Dolphins lost Fasano but upgraded the position by signing Dustin Keller to a one-year deal. Now after two preseason games in a Dolphins uniform, Keller will miss the entire 2013 season due to a very serious knee injury. Keller tore his ACL, MCL and PCL and also dislocated his knee, thanks to a big hit from D.J. Swearinger, a rookie safety with the Houston Texans Saturday night. The injury leaves the Dolphins with a big hole to try and fill now at tight end.

The reason the Dolphins signed Keller in the first place was because they needed a tight end who could not only block, but could catch the ball and make plays as well. Keller put up good numbers during his first five years in the league, playing them all with division rivals the New York Jets. Last year, Keller was hampered with hamstring and ankle injuries which only allowed him to play in about eight games. He still put up good numbers, but they weren’t as good as they had been in the years prior.

So Keller was a big weapon the Dolphins were looking for to help them make an impact in the AFC East this season. Keller’s injury now turns out to be a big setback for the Fins. Miami was looking for Keller to not only replace, but even possibly exceed, the hole left with Fasano leaving to go play for another team. Not only was he expected to fill in that hole, but Keller was also going to be looked upon to really help out second year Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Keller and Tannehill had clicked in training camp and connected on a 22-yard touchdown pass in the second exhibition game. Something really seemed to click  between the two, and it seemed like things were looking up for the team before the injury.

Now with Keller hurt, Miami is going to have to go with Dion SimsMichael EgnewCharles Clay and Kyle Miller which leaves a big void at the position. I’m sorry, but the Dolphins are in trouble this season when it comes to the tight end. Sims is a rookie, Egnew and Miller have a total of zero catches in the pros and have a total of three games played in the pros. Clay is the only one with any experience in the NFL, having played in 14 games last year. So with the injury to Keller, Clay looks like he could be the best fit, at least that’s available to the Dolphins at the moment, to play tight end. If the Dolphins want to be able to contend this year, they have to work around Keller’s knee injury, and Clay is the best fit to take over right now, on paper at least.

How will this play out for the Dolphins? Only time will tell.

Matthew Solomon is an NHL, NFL and MLB writer for Rant Sports. You can follow me on Twitter, like me on Facebook and follow me on Google!

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