The official prognosis has not been released, but reports are saying the season is over for Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller after being carted off the field last night against the Houston Texans. Late in the second period, Keller's knee was bent completely sideways when the Texans' D.J. Swearinger went low to make a tackle as Keller was receiving a pass. Keller was taken to the hospital for an MRI before the game ended.
While those MRI results have not been announced, the Dolphins are already starting to plan. According to the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero, the Dolphins are actively calling teams and free agents to find a replacement for Keller.
The free agent market is pretty well barren, as we discussed last night. However, there are several possibilities on the trade front, as well as a few players who could be waived by teams as rosters are reduced who could be worth consideration.
Over night, I asked several SB Nation bloggers about potential targets for the Dolphins, if the news on Keller's injury comes back as expected. Evan "Tex" Western, covering the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company, replied that there is currently a "logjam" at the position in Green Bay. He explained that the team currently has five tight ends who could be in consideration for one or two roster spots, with the team trying to put a third on the practice squad. He listed Andrew Quarless, D.J. Williams, Ryan Taylor, Brandon Bostick, and Jake Stoneburner as all possibilities for Miami to consider, depending on what the Packers decide.
An interesting possibility came from Kyle Montgomery at Mile High Report, the Denver Broncos blog. Montgomery explained that Julius Thomas has emerged for Denver, leaving Jacob Tamme as possible trade bait. Tamme caught 52 passes last year for 555 yards and two touchdowns, second to his career high with the Indianapolis Colts in 2010 when he had 67 receptions for 631 yards and 4 scores. He could be someone worth considering, assuming his price tag is within Miami's comfort zone.
Joel Thorman at Arrowhead Pride added the possibility of Tony Moeaki, who caught 33 passes for 453 yards and a touchdowns, being on the trading block after being buried on the depth chart behind former Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano and rookie Travis Kelcie.
Hogs Haven's Kevin Ewoldt pointed to the Washington Redskins' depth at the position as a possibility for Miami to target as well. According to Ewoldt, the Redskins may "keep them all, but it is definitely a position of depth." Fred Davis, Logan Paulsen, third round pick Jordan Reed, and Niles Paul are all manning the roster in Washington right now.
Another name that could be on Miami's radar is the Philadelphia Eagles' Brent Celek. Despite six years in Philly, with four of those being the primary starting tight end, and averaging 60 receptions and 745 yards since 2009, Celek seems to be the lost man in Chip Kelly's offense. The team added Zach Ertz and James Casey this year, which could make Celek possible trade bait.
Jess Root from Revenge of the Birds, SB Nation's Arizona Cardinals blog, also pointed to the recently released Kyle Auffray as a possibility for Miami. Auffray signed with the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent out of New Hampshire. He began his college career at Mississippi State as a quarterback, before injuries sidelined him and and he transferred to New Hampshire to be closer to him. As a sophomore, he started the year as a quarterback, then moved to wide receiver before injuries on the team forced him to move to tight end. He performed well during his Pro Day and during the NFL's Super Regional Combine. He recorded a 4.56 40-yard time and is 6'5", 253 pounds.
It will be interesting to see how and where the Dolphins address the opening on the roster Keller will leave. Where would you look if you were trying to find an answer?