Byron Jones is moving toward a lost season, but the Dolphins are not giving up hope on the eighth-year defender. Mike McDaniel did confirm Jones is still not ready to practice due to the ankle and Achilles operation he underwent in March. While the high-priced cornerback was expected to be ready for training camp, it has obviously brought concern he remains on the shelf into Thanksgiving week. McDaniel said this week he is optimistic Jones will, in fact, suit up at some point this season, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes.
The Dolphins have been without Jones and Nik Needham, given a second-round RFA tender to stay in Miami this year, for weeks. Needham is out for the season. Jones’ absence — by far his longest as a pro — has left the 7-3 team shorthanded at corner. It will be interesting to see if Jones can indeed contribute for the Fins this season. By restructuring Jones’ five-year, $82.5MM deal this offseason, the Dolphins added some future dead money to the contract — in the event they want to move on before its conclusion.
Here is the latest from the AFC East:
- Faced with the prospect of a second-year demotion, Zach Wilson may be losing some support in the Jets locker room. Wilson indicated he did not feel his 9-for-22, 77-yard passing performance against the Patriots let the team’s defense down, and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes those remarks upset some defenders. The former No. 2 overall pick piloted an offense that totaled 103 yards against the Pats — the fourth-fewest in Jets history — months after a Wilson-led attack set a franchise record with 53 yards in Week 18 of last season. Monday marked the first time Saleh has threatened to bench Wilson, who earned his job back following each of his knee injuries over the past two seasons. Wilson ranks 23rd in QBR (45.1) but is second-to-last in passer rating (72.6).
- The Patriots placed Christian Barmore on IR last week, but Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter) the team expects him to return later this season. The second-year defensive tackle has battled knee inflammation for weeks. Surgery is not on the agenda here, per Schefter, who adds New England anticipates Barmore returning after the four-week IR minimum. He is eligible to come back in Week 15.
- Joining Jones on the injury front, Trey Flowers is unlikely to come off the Dolphins‘ IR list for a bit. McDaniel said (via Jackson) Flowers is not close to returning from the foot injury that sidelined him in mid-October. Flowers is eligible to return from IR this week, but it cannot be assumed he comes off IR this season. The Dolphins do have six injury activations remaining, however, providing some flexibility even when factoring in the Jones situation. Flowers, who sat in free agency for months prior to his Dolphins agreement, played just 65 defensive snaps with his new team this season. Injuries hindered Flowers significantly in Detroit as well. The Dolphins have both he and Emmanuel Ogbah out of the equation at defensive end.
- Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona said he would like to see his position more respected, salary-wise, and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com posits this could affect how Cardona approaches his free agency. Cardona would have his work cut out for him if he takes such a stance. Long snappers are the league’s lowest-paid players, with each earning the league minimum or just north of that. Browns snapper Charley Hughlett signed an extension this year that made him the league’s highest-paid snapper — at $1.4MM per year.