The Dolphins must be careful this season.
After a slew of injuries in the offseason, Hurricane Irma is causing more problems for the Dolphins. The week 1 match up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had to be moved to week 11. Of course, this means the Dolphins (and the Buccaneers) will have to play 16 games straight with no bye week. Some people are not concerned but they should be. Several players are coming back from injury. Not having a bye week takes away a week of much needed recovery.
Quarterback Jay Cutler is coming off of an injury. Before deciding to retire, he partially tore is labrum in his throwing shoulder. While he seems to have recovered fully from his injury, 16 straight games is not good for a 34 year old quarterback, especially one who is coming off of an injury. One of the men tasked to protect Cutler was also injured last season. Center Mike Pouncey returned from a hip injury in the offseason. He was limited in training camp and preseason. Pouncey has not played a full 16 games since 2012. This stretch will be especially hard on him. If he gets hurt again, the Dolphins offensive line will struggle.
The Dolphins were predicted to go 9-7 and miss the playoffs this year before losing Ryan Tannehill to injury. Whether you believe Cutler is better than Tannehill is another discussion, but the odds have not changed much since the quarterback change. Combined with a difficult schedule ahead, not having a bye week could potentially do some damage. The coaching staff and trainers must do a good job of keeping the players healthy with the long road ahead of them. We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.