The Dolphins kept their starting linebackers from last season, but moved them around to a new configuration that had Koa Misi in the middle flanked by Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler.
They’ll never get to see that alignment in a regular season game. Wheeler missed the opener with a thumb injury and Ellerbe suffered a hip injury during the win over the Patriots that will bring his season to a very early end.
Coach Joe Philbin announced Monday that Ellerbe is headed to injured reserve. Philbin also announced that the team has signed linebacker Kelvin Sheppard to fill the roster spot. Sheppard played 15 games for the Colts last year after being acquired from Buffalo in a trade for Jerry Hughes. That deal worked out much better for the Bills as Sheppard didn’t make the Colts out of camp this year, but he should get a chance to earn some time in Miami. Chris McCain, who had a sack and a blocked punt Sunday, Jason Trusnik and Jelani Jenkins are other options in Miami.
Ellerbe wasn’t effective in the middle last year and he may not get a chance to show what he can do outside for an extended period of time in Miami. With most of the guaranteed money on the five-year deal he signed last season paid out, the Dolphins could opt to save some money by moving on after two years.