Jamil Douglas found himself thrust into the offensive line on Sunday against the New York Jets due to an injury. It was not at his usual guard position, however, nor was it at the tackle position he sometimes played in college. Instead, Douglas was asked to take over as the team's center when Mike Pouncey was carted to the locker room with a foot injury.
Douglas was not horrible, but he has to improve his snapping if he is going to continue to serve as the backup up - and potentially developmental replacement - for Pouncey. The bigger question, though, is will the Dolphins have to use Douglas as the starting center in next week's game against the Baltimore Ravens? According to interim head coach Dan Campbell, the injury to Pouncey may not be as bad as feared.
Speaking to the media on Monday, Campbell described Pouncey's foot injury as "day-to-day." Adding that it is "better than I thought" and that Pouncey could be ready for the Week 13 contest.
That does not mean the Dolphins are going to be sitting on the roster this week, however. Campbell added, "We're going to need another center in the room." If the Dolphins are going to be looking for someone who can immediately fill in as the starter if Pouncey cannot play, there is one obvious name still available: Samson Satele.
Satele spent the 2014 season as the Dolphins' center, with Pouncey first sidelined due to an injury, then playing guard. Satele already knows Tannehill, has familiarity with the basics of the offense, and could be exactly what the Dolphins need to provide depth at the position the rest of the year. Satele is not going to come in and suddenly be a Pro Bowl caliber addition to the roster, but he could be the best option to a team with a need.
Unfortunately for Miami, the repeated waiving of developmental center Sam Brenner bit them a couple of weeks ago, when, instead of coming back to the team as a practice squad member, as had happened multiple times before, the Denver Broncos claimed Brenner off waivers. Now, as a member of the Broncos' 53-man roster, the Dolphins cannot bring him back to their roster in hopes of providing depth behind Pouncey.
The Dolphins face the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday, and will need to either have Pouncey back, or have a solid replacement in his place. If it is going to be Douglas, he and Tannehill have to work on their exchange, under center and, more importantly, in shotgun, throughout the week. Hopefully, Campbell's "day-to-day" prognosis does mean the Dolphins will have their Pro Bowl center back to anchor the middle of the offensive line.