The Miami Dolphins will begin their 2016 training camp later this week with a new team and new energy under rookie head coach Adam Gase. A big question facing Miami offensively is its running-back position.
All three tailback options for the Dolphins have a long list of injuries in recent seasons. Here is a closer look:
Arian Foster: Miami signed the seven-year veteran last week to add leadership and experience to a young group. But Foster, 29, is at the age when running backs often decline and he has missed 23 games in the past three seasons due to multiple injuries. Last year Foster had a season-ending Achilles injury that limited him to just four games. In 2013, he had a back injury that limited Foster to eight games. Foster said he believes he’s still one of the top running backs in the NFL, but he has to stay healthy and on the field to prove it.
Jay Ajayi: Miami was pleased to get Ajayi in the fifth round last year. He had a ton of production at Boise State but suffered two torn ACLs. Ajayi also experienced a rib injury that put him on the physically unable to perform list to start last season. The Dolphins say they are comfortable with Ajayi, who rushed for 187 yards as a rookie. Ajayi got a four-month head start over Foster this offseason in his quest to win the starting job.
Kenyan Drake: Miami’s third-round pick has multiple skills, but his college scouting report points to durability being a major concern. Drake was a backup at Alabama behind Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. Yet, Drake still had multiple injuries, which included a broken leg and broken arm. Drake also suffered a hamstring injury that knocked him out of minicamp in June. Drake is expected to return to the field in training camp. But he must overcome the injury bug and remain on the field to find a consistent role in his first season.
These are the options Miami is going with to carry the ball this season. Can this group stay healthy for the Dolphins in 2016?