Dolphins TE Dustin Keller done for season with multiple knee injuries
According to multiple reports, an MRI indicated that Keller tore his ACL, MCL, PCL, and also disclosed his right knee following gruesome at Reliant Stadium. Doctors fear Keller’s injury could be potentially career-threatening due to risk of nerve damage.
Keller was trying to bring in a pass when Texans safety Swearinger tackled him on the right knee in the second quarter of Saturday’ preseason game. The 28-year-old Keller immediately grabbed his knee and was soon carted off the field.
Swearinger appeared apologetic and claimed it was unintentional. The Texans defender reasoned that he went low on Keller from fear of drawing a penalty from the NFL.
"With the rules in this era you've got to hit low," Swearinger said after Saturday night's game against the Dolphins. "If I would have hit him high, I would have gotten a fine…Right now it's just instinct. You see somebody come across the middle, you gotta go low. You're going to cost your team 15 yards. You've got to play within the rules."
“I'm sorry it happened and I pray he has a speedy recovery,” Swearinger added.
The injury is a crushing blow to Keller’s future prospects in Miami. The sixth-year pro Keller was essentially betting on himself to produce a monster season after he signed to a one-year, $4.25 million contract with the Dolphins this offseason. Keller spent the first five season of his career with the New York Jets and was limited to just eight games last year due to groin and hamstring injruies.
Keller’s injury is also a significant setback for the Dolphins, since they had signed him to replace tight end Anthony Fasano while providing second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill with a sure-handed target, who will also provide veteran presence at the position. Tannehill and Keller seemed to be developing chemistry in training camp and connected on a 22-yard touchdown pass in the second exhibition game. He had one reception on Saturday before leaving the game with a knee injury.
It won’t be easy for the Dolphins to replace Keller's pass-catching ability. The team was initially busy on Sunday placing preliminary calls for outside help at tight end but none of the options available on the market come anywhere near Keller’s caliber. However, many expect the Dolphins to make do with what they have available at the position.
Rookie Dion Sims, 2012 draft pick Michael Egnew, third-year pro Charles Clay and second-year player Kyle Miller are among the tight ends on the Dolphins roster, who are expected to get the first shot to fill the void left by Keller’s injury, before the team looks for free agent options.