It’s the beginning of July and the Miami Dolphins have already had a bad start to their 2014 season.
Training camp has yet to even commence and it feels as if the wheels are already falling off for the Dolphins’ season. Second-year defensive end Dion Jordan was suspended by the NFL for four games after violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
This is following the news that starting center Mike Pouncey would miss at least the first month of the regular season after undergoing hip surgery. Pouncey was the only starting offensive lineman in 2013 who was returning to the 2014 squad. The Dolphins will open their season versus the New England Patriots with five new starting linemen.
Thursday’s suspension of Jordan marks another rough patch in Jordan’s young career thus far.
Jordan was the No. 3 overall pick by the Dolphins in the 2013 NFL Draft after Miami traded up to the No. 3 spot by giving up their No. 12 and No. 42 overall selections to the Oakland Raiders. Jordan mustered just 26 tackles and two sacks during his rookie season despite being a highly-touted pass rusher entering the draft.
Jordan was limited to playing only on third downs and obvious passing situations due to his weaknesses in defending the run. A lot of that was attributed to Jordan’s lack of bulk, which he fixed during the offseason by putting on 17 pounds of muscle.
“I recently learned from the NFL that I tested positive for stimulants that are banned under the NFL policy,” Jordan said in a statement. “I worked carefully with my advisors and the union to investigate the test results, and I take full responsibility for the test results.
For a Dolphins team that hasn’t enjoyed any sustainable success since 2008, when they last made the playoffs, this is simply bad news. Jordan was expected to play an increased role in 2014 to take pressure off of starters Olivier Vernon and Cameron Wake at defensive end. The Dolphins had even bypassed a trade offer from the Philadelphia Eagles leading up to the draft to acquire the services of Jordan.
Before August arrives, the Dolphins have lost their top offensive lineman and one of their top three defensive ends for the first month of the regular season. Not a good sign for a team that hasn’t achieved a winning record in six years.