2:28pm: The Dolphins have officially confirmed the diagnosis on Wake, and will place him on the injured reserve list in the coming days (Twitter link via James Walker of ESPN.com).
8:36am: As if their 36-7 loss at the hands of the divisional-rival Patriots on Thursday night wasn’t bad enough, the Dolphins appear to have lost their top pass rusher to a season-ending injury during the game.
After Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald wrote last night that the Dolphins feared a ruptured left Achilles for defensive end Cameron Wake, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com confirms today (via Twitter) that is indeed a torn Achilles for Wake, who will miss the rest of the season.
Wake, 33, got off to a slow start this year, along with most of the rest of the Dolphins, but was a force over the last few weeks, following Dan Campbell’s hiring as interim coach. Despite not being able to finish his third game under Campbell due to his Achilles injury, Wake racked up seven sacks in those three weeks, including one takedown of Tom Brady on Thursday night.
Given his age, his contract, and the serious nature of the injury, there’s a possibility that Wake has played his last down for Miami. The four-time Pro Bowler, who has been with the team since 2009, has one year remaining on his contract, but his cap hit in 2016 will be $9.8MM, so the Dolphins will have to be pretty confident he can make a full recovery and be productive next season in order to bring him back. If the club were to cut him in the offseason, it would create $8.4MM in cap savings.
For now, the Dolphins will have to find a way to fill the pass-rushing void created by Wake’s injury. Derrick Shelby appears likely to slide into the starting lineup for Wake, while the team will also rely more heavily on Olivier Vernon to get to the quarterback.