It didn't take a medical expert to realize the injury Dustin Keller suffered in Saturday night's Dolphins preseason game was a bad one. But the team has followed up and indicated that Keller's injury was, in fact, not good, and that he will likely miss the entire 2013 season.
It's bad news for both parties. The Dolphins were counting on the sixth-year player to provide a big target at tight end for Ryan Tannehill. Keller, a 6'2 tight end with great receiving ability, although he isn't considered a great blocker, was top on Miami's depth chart at tight end, joining Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline as the team's top receiving talent.
And it's awful for Keller: he had held out for a long-term deal, but eventually caved and took a one-year contract with Miami worth $4.5 million. 2013 was supposed to be his comeback year: after registering career highs of 65 catches for 815 yards in 2012 as Mark Sanchez's primary target, he only played in eight games in 2012, and was hoping a strong year this year could get him the deal he believes he deserves. But that won't happen, and now he'll have to hope teams are willing to gamble on a player who not only hasn't proven his relevance lately, but also will be coming off a major injury.
Now the Dolphins must look down their depth chart for tight ends. Next up is Charles Clay, who is really more of a fullback than a tight end. Michael Egnew, a third-round pick in 2012 who was in danger of getting cut, is now considerably less dispensable and could actually play a big role in the team's offense after not catching a pass in his rookie season.