The Miami Dolphins have listed center Mike Pouncey and cornerback Dmitri Patterson as doubtful for their upcoming game with the Carolina Panthers. Pouncey could miss the second week in a row with a still undisclosed illness which has prevented him from participating while Patterson is dealing with a groin injury. Both players are significant losses but the potential loss of Pouncey would be enormous considering the opponent this week.
Not having Pouncey, the best offensive lineman on the team in addition to everything else that is going on with Richie Incognito is a huge problem. The Panthers have arguably the best, young front seven in the NFL and the big reason for that is the play of their defensive tackle rotation. The play of rookies Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short has been outstanding and Dwan Edwards has been a great rotational option that can come in and keep them fresh.
The responsibility to play the center and left guard spots falls to Sam Brenner and Nate Garner respectively. That makes an already incredibly difficult matchup for the Dolphins that much worse and the Dolphins will have to be creative in how they protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill as well as cobble together a running game. It would not be a big surprise to see the Dolphins use a lot of quick passes and screens to try to keep the Panthers off balance. The Dolphins are still alive for a wild card spot, but getting to 6-5 will be a huge hill to climb this week when they host Carolina this week.