The Miami Dolphins are right on the playoff bubble with a 5-5 record, and they have the more pure talent of any team competing for the last playoff seed in the AFC. But at the same time, the Dolphins organization has been mired in controversy this season, and there are plenty of background questions about chemistry. Those questions, though, aren’t as pressing as the questions on the offensive line, and the fact that Mike Pouncey has been out due to a serious gallbladder issue (it’s gotten to the point where doctors are trying to avoid removing Pouncey’s gallbladder altogether) has definitely made things worst.
Although the Dolphins offensive line probably isn’t the worst in the NFL, it’s safe to say that they are in the discussion, especially when Pouncey is out. Even though Pouncey never practiced this week and was listed doubtful, there was still a glimmer of hope that the Dolphins star center would be able to suit up for tomorrow afternoon’s contest against the 7-3 Carolina Panthers. That hope, unfortunately, has been squashed, as the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero reports that Mike Pouncey will not play in tomorrow’s game.
It’s awful news for Lamar Miller, who is a fantasy afterthought in many leagues this week in light of Pouncey’s essentially guaranteed absence. Miller is a talented back, but he’s stuck behind an ineffective, depleted offensive line that just can’t run block to save their lives. Pouncey is a great player, but he’s probably the only starter on the Dolphins offensive line who can truly qualify as being above-average. And it gets worse for the Dolphins this week, as they have to face a dominant Panthers front seven, which includes the likes of Star Lotulelei and Luke Kuechly at the heart of the defense. With Pouncey out, defeating the Panthers just got a lot tougher.