Just under an hour away from their Week 6 contest against the New York Jets, the Miami Dolphins announced they’ll be without starting linebacker Kyle Van Noy and running back Jordan Howard, per the injury report.
Van Noy, a free agent acquisition during the 2020 offseason, was limited in practice this entire week with a groin injury. Miami included a foot injury to the 29-year-old in their injury report Saturday.
As for Howard, he’s a healthy scratch for the second consecutive week. Miami will once again lean towards the halfback triad of Myles Gaskin, Matt Breida and Patrick Laird.
Along with Van Noy and Howard, wide receiver Malcolm Perry, running back Salvon Ahmed and defensive lineman Jason Strowbridge are also inactive for Miami.
Who’s bound to step up for Van Noy?
Jamie Bahamas, lead Dolphins writer: Kyle Van Noy was a key acquisition to the Dolphins defense. Besides his production, the Dolphins will miss his leadership. A loss like this is not made up by one person. The entire defensive unit will have to ensure that they’re communicating well to make sure that there are no breakdowns.
However, if I had to single out one player from the linebacker unit, it’s Jerome Baker. The three-year pro will need to step up and have a good game. He will need to be the glue that keeps the unit together today and also make up for the loss of Van Noy’s production.
Is Howard’s future with Miami in stake?
Michael Yero, Dolphins writer: Howard has extremely underperformed early on in the season, totaling 18 carries for just 14 yards. That’s equivalent to 0.8 yards per attempt. Because of such, Miami chose to lean with second-year pro Myles Gaskin, who’s picked things up as of late – 249 yards, 64 carries.
And while the reasoning behind Howard’s inactivity is unclear, it could be safe to assume that the former Pro Bowl tailback was ticked off with reports that Miami was targeting Le’Veon Bell after he was waived by the Jets.
He’s bothered by his recent production, too.
Howard, who signed a two-year, $9.75 million deal with the Dolphins in March, expressed his frustration in an Instagram story post. “Can’t wait till I’m balling again, cant hold me down forever,” he said a day after Bell signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Waiving Howard would save Miami $5 million, so it might be something the front office is looking at. Yet again, they could be willing to give him to improve.
Only time will tell.