Monday, December 28, 2009

Dolphins lose Channing Crowder for season

In a game where the Dolphins were banged up on both sides of the ball, one of the most significant injuries suffered against the Texans was to starting inside linebacker Channing Crowder.

Crowder left with a foot injury early in the game, opening the door for Houston to put up 27 points in the first half and rush for 126 yards.

Crowder is believed to have suffered a Lisfranc fracture of the foot—the same injury that forced running back Ronnie Brown out for the 2009 season last month.

A five-year veteran, Crowder started 13 games for the Dolphins at inside linebacker in the team's 3-4 scheme and was the defensive signal-caller this season. He finishes the year with 51 tackles, a sack and his first career interception.

Crowder will head to injured reserve sometime this week, with rookie linebacker J. D. Folsom likely earning the promotion from the practice squad. Reggie Torbor will start in Crowder's place against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17.

If it is indeed a Lisfrance fracture for Crowder, the injury could take some months to heal and put his availability for offseason workouts and training camp in doubt.

The injury also makes inside linebacker even more of a need than it was before, as Akin Ayodele is on the back-end of his career, Crowder is fairly average anyway and Torbor is more of a backup.

The Dolphins are currently slated to pick in the top half of the first round in 2010 and could target an inside linebacker such as Alabama's Rolando McClain or Florida's Brandon Spikes.

The Dolphins' Simply Playoff Scenario

With just one week remaining in the regular season, a lot teams' fans are working out all kinds of playoff scenarios in hopes of having, well, some hope.

Things are much simpler for the Dolphins, who, despite losing two in a row and barely hanging by a thread, are still mathematically alive in the AFC Wild Card race.

Pro Football Talk outlines the Dolphins' lone playoff scenario, and it goes like this:

Dolphins beat Steelers
Bengals beat Jets
Raiders beat Ravens
Patriots beat Texans
Browns beat Jaguars

If all those things happen, and only then, the Miami Dolphins will make the playoffs with an 8-8 record.

I'm not really holding my breath, as I'm not sure a playoff berth is even worth it at this point. Yes, once you get in, it's anyone's game, but it's been blatantly obvious to me this year that the Dolphins simply do not have a roster that could go far (or anywhere) in the playoffs.

Miami just isn't there yet, and while I can't really ever root for Miami to lose on game days, I also wouldn't mind if the Dolphins lost to Pittsburgh and slightly improved their draft slot. I've got a man-crush on Rolando McClain.