The injury to Pat Devlin’s hamstring cost him his roster spot this training camp, and an injury to Matt Moore might cost him as well. Now that there are four quarterbacks on the roster, and three fighting for backup roles, this position battle has emerged this camp and is something that wasn’t expected to happen back when training camp started in July. Matt Moore, Brady Quinn, and Seth Lobato now are all fighting for the second and third spots to back up Ryan Tannehill. All of that is assuming that the Dolphins even keep three quarterbacks on the roster, which is something they have done both years that Joe Philbin has been in Miami.
The signing of Quinn comes at a strange time though, with it being only a couple of days before training camp ends. With the signing of Quinn though led to the release of Brock Jensen and Pat Devlin, as mentioned before. Quinn will be fighting with Moore to be the backup to Tannehill and it will be a tough battle for him to win considering he hasn’t had a whole off-season like Moore has had. Quinn will likely be the third quarterback with Lobato being moved to the practice squad later this month after the pre-season. Although there is a possibility of Quinn getting the backup job in place of Moore because of Moore’s $5.5 million cap hit, which is one of the most expensive cap hits in the NFL for a backup quarterback. Quinn is a good athlete with strong arm, but he will need to pick up the offense quickly and be able to learn it and understand it for the Dolphins to consider for him to be the backup.
Another interesting battle in the training camp thus far that wasn’t expected is the punt and kick returning roles. Marcus Thigpen has handled the two jobs for the past two years but he had a drop off in his play last year, which has led to an open competition this year for the two roles. Thigpen has competition for the punt returner this year, as rookie Jarvis Landry’s forty-eight yard punt return versus the Atlanta Falcons last week impressed the coaching staff, and he will likely get more opportunities because of the good return.
As for the kickoff return duties, Thigpen had a good return too and looked decisive as well, which was something that he struggled with last year. Also competing for the kick return duties are Landry, rookie running back Damien Williams, and veteran wide receiver Damian Williams as well. It will be interesting to see who wins the job, because if Thigpen wins both jobs, he will likely take a spot as either a running back or as a slot wide receiver, which means guys like Damien Williams, Damian Williams, Mike Gillislee, or Armon Binns might not make the roster because of it. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, as there are still three pre-season games left as well.
Finally, it is note worthy that the Dolphins signed kicker Danny Hrapmann before their first game. Now it is because of Caleb Sturgis’ injury to his groin, but it worth while to note that Sturgis missed some practice time last year in training camp because of a injured groin as well. While this is probably just a coincidence, it might be something that Sturgis has to deal with a lot in his career and the Dolphins might have to keep an eye on the situation.
This year’s training camp has been interesting, with plenty of battles on the offensive line, at both guard and center positions, slot corner back, all three linebackers, backup quarterback, both punt and kick returners, and even backup tight end as well. While training camp is almost over, the pre-season has just begun and game time action is what really set apart players from one another.