Sunday, December 30, 2012

Brian Tyms could earn promotion to active roster Sunday

With slot receiver Davone Bess already ruled out for Sunday's season finale against the New England Patriots, it is believed undrafted rookie receiver Brian Tyms may be promoted to the active roster to replace him.

Tyms (#85) working in practice for the
Dolphins during the 2012 season
Tyms confirmed via Twitter Saturday that he did travel with the team to New England, although there has been no confirmation as a roster move yet. Still, it seems likely a move will take place as there is simply no reason to keep Bess on the 53-man roster if he's not going to play in Week 17.

Bess will miss his third consecutive game with a back injury after playing in the first 77 games of his career since signing as an undrafted rookie in 2008. He finishes the 2012 season with 61 receptions, a career-low one touchdown but a career-high 12.8 receiving average and the second-highest yardage total of his career at 778.

As for Tyms, it remains to be seen whether or not he'll dress and play in the season finale on Sunday. It's a possibility considering Brian Hartline (back) and Armon Binns (groin) are nursing injuries, although teams often promote guys late in the season not with the intention of immediately replacing them but simply getting a head start on re-signing them for the following offseason.

If Tyms does play, he'll No. 85 and will likely work exclusively on special teams. The undrafted rookie was initially signed by the 49ers before being waived during final cuts. He was added to the Dolphins' practice squad after the season opener, where he has spent the past 15 weeks.

Earning a promotion now would be an incredible accomplishment for a guy that played just one season of high school football, walked on to Florida A&M, wasn't one of the team's top two receivers as a senior and went undrafted. You can read more about Tyms' long journey to the NFL here, which makes for an interesting read despite the piece's author.

My one other thought about a Tyms promotion doesn't relate to Tyms himself, but to the Dolphins' other practice squad receiver in Jeff Fuller. If Tyms is indeed getting a promotion this Sunday, it speaks volumes about Fuller that he's still on the practice squad.

Unlike Tyms, the undrafted Fuller had plenty of experience at a top college program and was once considered a very draftable prospect before drop issues crept in. Fuller should also have numerous advantages over Tyms, having been with the Dolphins through offseason workouts and training camp and having a prior relationship with offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and quarterback Ryan Tannehill at Texas A&M.

Combine all that with the fact that Miami's receiving corps has seen quite a bit of turnover this season and is currently even thinner than before when it was regarded as one of the worst in the league. For Fuller to have not earned a promotion yet, and to not earn would over Tyms here, could be quite telling about Fuller's future prospects.

I would still guess Fuller earns a future deal with the Dolphins next week and returns for training camp in 2013, but it's clear he's a long way from contributing in the NFL and I wouldn't hold my breath that he'll soon be reliving his college glory days with his old quarterback.