Several reports indicate that the injury suffered by Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller is as catastrophic as initially feared.
Keller reportedly tore the ACL, MCL and PCL in his right knee, dislocated his kneecap and Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that doctors also fear nerve damage that could turn a season-ending injury into a career-threatening one. That’s a tough draw for a player who signed a one-year contract in hopes of turning it into a bigger one next offseason.
The Dolphins’ main concern is how to fill in for Keller. The options on hand are Charles Clay, Michael Egnew and rookie Dion Sims, all drafted in the last three years. They have 34 catches between them, all by Clay, and coach Joe Philbin has sent some praise Egnew’s way during training camp. Keller was expected to play a major role as a receiver, though, so the Dolphins may look outside the team for help.
If they do, the free agent market doesn’t offer much. Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports reports that Daniel Graham has decided to retire and is content while Kevin Boss “isn’t retired yet” but isn’t expected to play again after suffering a series of concussions. Other options like Travis Beckum and Evan Moore failed to develop with the Giants and Eagles, respectively, while former Dolphin Randy McMichael would only help as a blocker.
If they do decide to go outside the organization, then, they may be better off waiting until cuts shake loose some other possibilities or seeing who teams might be looking to deal ahead of cutdown day. Whatever route they go, Keller will be missed.