Miami Dolphins guard John Jerry has spent the last few days working with the first team offensive line as the team prepares to play the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. The Dolphins are looking to replace starting right guard Vernon Carey, who has been held out of practice due to an ankle injury.
The surprising part of this move is that Jerry is getting the first team snaps, and not Nate Garner, who filled in last week for Carey when the injury happened against the Dallas Cowboys.
Could this just be an opportunity to see what Jerry brings to the table, or are the Dolphins considering using Jerry more?
Jerry was Miami's third round pick in 2010, with then Vice President of Football Operations Bill Parcells coveting Jerry's size. At the time, Jerry was a 6'5", 329 lbs. mauler of a tackle from Mississippi. HE was considered an elite talent at the position, and was projected to take over as the starting left guard for the Dolphins, locking down that side of the line with tackle Jake Long for a decade.
However, Jerry has disappointed since arriving in the NFL. Over his two seasons, Jerry has started 10 games, appearing in 20. For a player as hyped as he was before the draft, Jerry's need for developing was surprising, and has led to him being labeled as a bust, just a year and a half from being drafted. Add in the fact that tight end Jimmy Graham, who Parcells admits he considered drafting, but wanted Jerry instead, is emerging as a start in New Orleans, and the backlash against Jerry is understandable.
But, maybe, if he is playing with the first team offensive line in practice, he is finally becoming the player Miami thought it was drafting. Or maybe, they are just taking one last look at a guy about to become a career backup.