Tuesday, August 4, 2009

WR Brennan Marion suffers torn ACL

The Dolphins suffered their first significant injury of the year today, losing undrafted rookie wide receiver Brennan Marion to a torn ACL. He will miss the entire 2009 season.

Background

A two-time All-Conference USA selection at Tulsa, Marion set an NCAA record as a junior in 2007 with 31.9 yards per reception. He suffered a torn ACL in his last collegiate game against East Carolina on January 6, 2009.

Still recovering from his injury less than four months prior, Marion went undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft and signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent. Despite being less than eight months removed from the injury, Marion opened the Dolphins' training camp on the active roster and fully participating in practice.

Analysis

Though devastating for Marion's professional career and heart-breaking given the path he took to get this far, the injury has little to no immediate impact on the Dolphins' upcoming season. Marion was an extreme long shot to make the team, as I had him eighth out of nine (ahead of only fellow undrafted rookie Chris Williams) on the receivers depth chart.

What is unfortunate for Marion and the Dolphins is that he won't be able to work on the practice squad this season, which is where I thought he had a chance to end up. He's certainly raw and clearly wasn't fully healthy, but he showed some talent as a deep threat at Tulsa and could have been a worthwhile project for Miami.

Expect a roster move to come shortly, with Marion being waived/injured and someone else being signed to fill the roster spot. The team reportedly worked out former Ravens receiver Edward Williams (a Brandon London clone at 6-4, 215) on Tuesday.

Also, remember that if you see a report of Marion being waived or released, they got it wrong as you cannot outright release an injured player. Marion will be waived/injured, meaning he will revert to the Dolphins' injured reserve list if he clears waivers as he should. (This happened with Tab Perry last year and it took the media a while to figure it out. If only they came here for good info!)

It's possible Marion could be released with an injury settlement at some point, but it's not a given. He is signed through next season at the minimum salary, so it's entirely possible the Dolphins could keep him around in 2010 and give him another chance to prove himself.

Unfortunately for Marion, that shot is a lengthy rehab away and his chance at a professional career has greatly suffered from this injury. It would make a heck of a story if he's able to recover and establish himself in the NFL, but it's a long, difficult road and no one will blame him if he isn't able to do it.