Heading into Thursday night's preseason finale, head coach Tony Sparano made it known that he was going to play the starters for an extended period of time - something most teams do not do with their starters in the final preseason game. Sparano, though, was not happy with his team's performance last week against Atlanta, leading him to make this decision.
On Wednesday I asked all of you how you felt about Sparano's decision to take this risk with his starters. Most of the responses I received were in favor of Tony's decision. However, the Dolphins almost saw their worst fear come to fruition in the second quarter against Dallas when Jake Long went down to the turf and was slow to get back to his feet.
Long got up and walked off the field under his own power, albeit with a slight limp. Luckily, disaster was averted - or so it seems. We won't know anything definitive right away, but all signs point to Long being just fine.
Jeff Darlington tweeted moments after the incident happened that "Long was just evaluated by medical staff at the trainers table. He walked back to the bench on his own. Appears to be just fine." Moments later, Armando Salguero added that "Long is on the bench, no wrap on his knee, no doctors around him."
Omar Kelly also noticed that Jake seemed to be okay. He tweeted that "Jake Long hasn't moved from the bench, where he's sitting next to Vernon Carey. No ice, no brace. But he touches the knee every few minutes." And when the team came out of the locker room to start the second half, Kelly tweeted that "Long is back on the sidelines, in the same old spot. He's talking to Vernon Carey watching the game on the super large TV."
After the game, Salguero said on Twitter that "Long Long is fine. Saw the trainer after the game but nothing serious." Ben Volin tweeted that Jake kept referring any questions about his injury to Coach Sparano, but did say "I'll be alright."
So it appears that the Dolphins avoided what would have been a monumental blow to their season. But that doesn't mean all of the armchair quarterbacks won't criticize Sparano for playing his starters into the second quarter of Thursday night's game.