The Miami Dolphins certainly drafted defensive end Dion Jordan with the idea that he could start for the team right away. Getting selected as the No. 3 overall pick normally means the player is well-equipped to make an impact right away on a team. However, Jordan has yet to be that impactful for the Dolphins, leaving the coaches to not even consider him a possible starter at this point.
Jordan has been battling injuries that have hurt his progress with the team. Since getting drafted, Jordan has barely practiced with Miami. He underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason and then was unable to join the team during OTAs because he was finishing up college classes before graduating. He was then limited at the start of training while he continued to heal for the surgery. That lack of practice time has led defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle to rule him out as a possible starter.
Jordan was supposed to be competing with Olivier Vernon for the starting spot next to Cameron Wake. However, Coyle is saying that for now, the spot is Vernon's until the team can get a decent look at Jordan's abilities.
"We're obviously taking some precaution with Dion, not wanting to overload him at this point," Coyle said, via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. "We've got a plan in place that we think will get him ready to participate at the level we feel best at to complete the season."
Jordan played just seven snaps in his preseason debut and then proceeded to miss the next two days of practice time after an issue arose with his surgically repaired shoulder. The team has a lot invested in Jordan and have decided to shut him down in a sense for the time being.
"We would like to see as much of him as we can, but we will be careful as we proceed. He's working his tail off. The other night, he had one of the most explosive hits in the game. When they came out in the Wildcat, he was in the backfield making a great, athletic play," Coyle said.
Once fully healthy, the situation for Jordan can certainly change. Coyle is not ruling him out in the future, just for the next few weeks. The coordinator notes that there is still plenty of time before the season officially begins and if Jordan puts in the work, he could get up to speed rather quickly.
"He hasn't gotten the reps that would be necessary to start at this point," Coyle said. "But we still have three weeks of training camp. So it's a little premature to determine exactly what his status would be as we begin the season."