MIAMI -- Injured players are often forgotten in the NFL. A person goes down for the season in October or training camp, while other players step in and fans forget the original place holder.
With that in mind, let’s update several key injuries for Miami and where those players currently stand.
1. TE Dustin Keller
2013 stats: No stats
Update: The Dolphins had big aspirations for Keller when he signed a one-year contract in March. But Keller suffered a gruesome blow to the leg, tearing multiple ligaments and ending his season. Charles Clay filled in very well and caught 69 passes. Clay did more than enough to prove he’s the starter in Miami. Clay and Keller's major knee injury make Keller's return to the Dolphins unlikely. Teams also could wait until it is late into free agency to see if Keller returns close to 100 percent.
2. CB Dimitri Patterson
2013 stats: 19 tackles, four interceptions
Update: Patterson will be an interesting case for the Dolphins and new general manager Dennis Hickey. Patterson produced when healthy, as evident by his four interceptions. But a tricky groin injury was bothersome all year and Patterson played just six games. Patterson should be 100 percent in the spring. However, he’s had a long list of injuries and comes with a steep salary of $5.4 million next season. I would be surprised if Miami keeps Patterson at that salary. The Dolphins already have to pony up a lot of money to keep unrestricted Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes.
3. WR Brandon Gibson
2013 stats: 30 receptions, 326 yards, three touchdowns
Update: Like Keller, Gibson was knocked out for the season after a significant knee injury. He was doing well in the slot after signing a three-year contract. Rishard Matthews replaced Gibson and also was productive. Gibson might miss some reps in organized team activities and minicamps during his recovery, but he should be getting close to 100 percent by training camp.
4. OT Will Yeatman
2013 stats: Eight games played
Update: Yeatman had a freak accident during a November practice where he tore his ACL. He played in eight games as a reserve. The former tight end has been a two-year project for Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin. Yeatman is a restricted free agent. So the Dolphins can bring him back on the cheap. However, since Yeatman was injured in November his recovery time will stretch into the summer.
5. WR Armon Binns
2013 stats: No stats
Update: Binns showed promise last offseason before blowing out his ACL in the summer. Binns didn’t make it to the regular season and now has to start from scratch in 2014. Binns made a brief appearance in Miami’s locker room after the regular season ended. Binns believed he would’ve helped the Dolphins last year. The bigger question is can Binns help Miami this year? He should be ready for training camp and will add depth to a deep group of Miami wide receivers.