When the Dolphins traded cornerback Vontae Davis before the season, they did it with the expectation that they would have Sean Smith and Richard Marshall lining up as their starting corners.
Smith has been there every week this season, but a back injury has kept Marshall out for the last two games. According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, he’ll miss a third straight game this weekend. Marshall was not able to practice during the team’s bye week or at any of the team’s workouts this week, which means it has been nearly a full month since he’s last been able to engage in football activities.
That leaves Nolan Carroll to start against the Jets and again leaves a struggling pass defense shorthanded. The Dolphins have been allowing 284.8 yards per game through the air, which is good for 28th in the league, and the Jets proved last weekend against New England that even they are able to take advantage of a team that has a hard time stopping teams from throwing the ball.
It’s a pretty big game for both of the AFC East teams. The winner will keep themselves in the thick of a muddled AFC playoff picture while the loser will have plenty of work to do if they want to get themselves back into that discussion.