The Miami Dolphins' Wednesday joint practice with the Carolina Panthers proved to be costly for both teams as major players suffered non-contact ACL tears. The Panthers lost wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin for the season, followed shortly by Miami's loss of safety Louis Delmas. Whenever a major injury occurs, the immediate focus turns to the "next man up," the backup who always needs to be ready to play. In Miami's case, that is likely Walt Aikens sliding into the starting spot next to Reshad Jones; according to a series of tweets from the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero, however, that may not be the final answer.
Reading some fan reaction to how Dolphins should handle FS spot with Louis Delmas out. Let me plant this seed for Next man up crowd...— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) August 20, 2015
I'm told the Dolphins will definitely look around the league for possible upgrade -- either via trade or waiver claim later.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) August 20, 2015
Dolphins need to make playoffs. You don't just sit back and accept your next man up is best option. You try to make sure that is case.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) August 20, 2015
It might be next man up -- either Walt Aikens or Michael Thomas -- get tapped. But team will cycle thru all options.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) August 20, 2015
The good news is that Miami will continue to be aggressive when it comes to personnel moves, much like they were in free agency. The bad news is that there may not be that great of an option available to them. Wednesday, after the injury to Delmas, Salguero tweeted that one potential target, San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle, is not available for a trade. Will there be an available player to upgrade over what Miami gets from the "next man up" mentality? The Dolphins appear to be hunting for it, so we will just have to wait and see if they are able to find it - if it is even out there.