Safety Louis Delmas went down with a knee injury during today’s joint practice between the Panthers and Dolphins, and Miami has received a worst-case initial diagnosis on Delmas’ knee. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), Delmas has torn his right ACL for a second consecutive year.
Delmas, 28, started 12 games at safety for the Dolphins last season, racking up 60 tackles and grabbing one interception, which he returned for an 81-yard touchdown. He also recovered a pair of fumbles and recorded a sack before a December ACL injury cut his year short. In his 844 defensive snaps, Delmas graded as about an average safety, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), receiving middle-of-the-pack marks for both his run defense and his pass coverage.
The Dolphins re-signed Delmas in March to a one-year contract that was worth up to $3.5MM, including a $2.25MM base value. However, considering he was coming off a major knee injury, the team protected itself for this scenario, according to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, who reports (via Twitter) that the safety’s salary will drop by about $1MM with a preseason IR designation. And it does appear that Delmas is headed for the injured reserve list, though the Dolphins haven’t made that official yet.
Assuming the Dolphins confirm Delmas’ initial diagnosis and rule him out for the season, the team will likely turn to safety Michael Thomas to take Delmas’ spot in the starting lineup.