One of the most encouraging surprises of the Miami Dolphins’ 2020 NFL season was the emergence of rookie offensive lineman, Solomon Kindley. Drafted in the fourth round – 111th overall - Kindley started 13 of a possible 16 games, manning the right guard position. Fans and journalists alike fell in love with his fun-loving personality off the field, and his bulldozer-like skills on it.
Heading into the 2021 season, Kindley was once again expected to lock down a starting guard spot – likely the left guard hole left vacant by the offseason trade of former starter, Ereck Flowers. With Miami’s first preseason game just days away, that expectation has most certainly not been met, with Kindley shockingly being demoted to 2nd – sometimes 3rd – team duties during training camp practices. Rookie acquisition, Liam Eichenberg has taken over the left guard spot, while Kindley’s 2020 draft mate, Robert Hunt, has been moved inside to man the right guard position, leaving Kindley out of the starting lineup.
For the sake of keeping the record accurate, this is Solomon Kindley’s third day with the third team offense.— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) August 3, 2021
Kindley is a large man, with a listed playing weight of 335 lbs. Some wondered if he reported to camp out of shape and over that normal playing weight which would explain his sudden demotion. Speaking to the media last week, Kindley shot down those rumors saying that his weight and conditioning were not issues, yet he did not return to the starting lineup as the week progressed.
Despite his demotion, Kindley’s performance at camp seems to have picked up over the last couple of days, leading some fans to speculate whether or not this “benching” was used as a motivational tool.
Now Solomon Kindley and Matt Skura open a lane for Ahmed to get into the second level— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) August 7, 2021
Could Liam Eichenberg be moved back to right tackle, a position most thought he’d play after being selected in the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL Draft? If so, Kindley could once again find himself back in the starting lineup when the season begins. If that does indeed happen, and Kindley continues to take positive steps forward, this Dolphins regime would most certainly be happy to have such a young and cheap option excelling in a starting role. Time will tell if that’s the case.
Are you concerned with Solomon Kindley’s sudden demotion? Do you think that when it is all said and done, Kindley will be a day-one starter on Miami’s offensive line this season? Let me know in the comments below. Fins up!