The Miami Dolphins have a hole at wide receiver. Not the normal hole that they have had all season long, though. They have a Davone Bess shaped hole. Bess has been ruled out this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a back injury, and Miami will be looking for a way to get Bess' production without Bess actually being on the field.
The Dolphins' number two receiver has 61 receptions for 778 yards, just one reception and 147 yards behind team leader Brian Hartline. Those numbers mean Bess is averaging five receptions on eight targets for 60 yards a game. The drop off from Bess to Marlon Moore, the next wide receiver in receptions and yardage, is amazing. Moore has four catches for 83 yards - on the year.
Miami will likely have to turn to Moore, rookie Rishard Matthews, new waiver claim Armon Binns, and some combination of running backs and tight ends to make up for Bess' absence.
Tight end Anthony Fasano has 30 receptions for 233 yards and four touchdowns this season, while running back Reggie Bush has 29 catches for 227 yards. The team has also used tight end Charles Clay (16, 204) and running back Daniel Thomas (15, 156) this year.
What may bear watching is if the team decides to activate rookie tight end Michael Egnew this week. Egnew, the team's third round pick last April, has been inactive for all 13 games this year. Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman has been talking Egnew's practices up lately, and, with the Dolphins out of realistic playoff contention, it could be time to finally see if the tight end can bring anything to the team next year.
The team has also been lining running back/returner Marcus Thigpen at wide receiver in practices lately, and could look to use him in that role this week.
The loss of Bess, who was injured last week trying to recover a fumble, will be a huge one for the Dolphins. With only Hartline as a regular producer at wide out, where the Dolphins turn as they take on the Jaguars will be something to watch all game. Hopefully they find success from someone.