The Miami Dolphins' secondary has taken another big hit as the team places starting safety Louis Delmas on injured reserve, ending his first season with the club. In the second half of Miami's 28-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Delmas collapsed to the turf without being touched and was carted off the field. After the game, the reports indicated belief that Delmas had torn his right ACL, but further tests would be completed Monday morning, according to the Miami Herald's Adam H. Beasley and Armando Salguero.
The team acknowledged that, even if the ACL was not completely torn, the injury was significant enough that Delmas' season would be over, per a report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Omar Kelly.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported this morning that Delmas' injury is confirmed to be a torn ACL, but no other damage was detected in the knee, which will help with the rehab process.
Delmas' injury lands him on a list if injured secondary players that continues to test Miami's depth at the cornerback and safety positions. Already on IR are cornerbacks Will Davis and Sammy Seamster as well as safety Michael Thomas. Starting cornerback Cortland Finnegan and primary reserve cornerback Jamar Taylor have had to miss games over the past few weeks with an ankle and a shoulder injury, respectively.
After signing as a free agent with the Dolphins this year, Delmas has contributed 61 tackles, a sack, an interception, and two fumble recoveries. He has had a history of injury problems and has only played in 16 games in a season once, his 2013 campaign with the Detroit Lions. Counting the Dolphins' three games remaining this season, Delmas will have missed 18 games during his six year career.
The Dolphins will now need to find a replacement to play next to Reshad Jones as the backstop to Miami's defense. The immediate answer is likely moving Jimmy Wilson back to safety, where he started the season as the replacement for Jones, who was suspended the first four games of the year. That move, however, opens the nickel cornerback position and, unless Finnegan and/or Taylor are ready to return, that could be a harder spot to fill for Miami. Miami used rookie Walt Aikens at safety during the game against the Ravens after Delmas' injury, and could look to the fourth-round pick out of Liberty to fill the vacancy; Miami could also look to a combination of Wilson and Aikens, with Wilson starting at safety and moving to nickel cornerback as needed, with Aikens backfilling him at safety.
Miami recently brought back two former Dolphins safeties, Jordan Kovacs and Don Jones, who could be used to provide depth at the position.
The Dolphins face a tough test with a depleted secondary this week as they travel north to complete the home-and-home series with the New England Patriots. Miami beat their AFC East rivals in Week 1 this year.