Dustin Keller will miss the season with a knee injury that leaves the Miami Dolphins without much experience at tight end, a position in which they were counting on an upgrade to enliven their offense in 2013.
Keller seriously injured his right knee during Saturday's preseason game at Houston, two people familiar with the diagnosis said Sunday. They confirmed the extent of the injury on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins made no public comment.
Keller signed a $4.25-million, one-year contract with the Dolphins in March after five seasons with the New York Jets. His injury represents a significant setback for the Dolphins, who acquired Keller to replace tight end Tony Fasano and help second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Miami ranked 30th in the NFL last year with 13 touchdown passes, but Tannehill and Keller had clicked in training camp and connected on a 22-yard touchdown pass in the second exhibition.
Keller was carted off the field after taking a hit in the knee from the helmet of rookie safety D.J. Swearinger. The play was legal, and Swearinger said he went low because tackling high can lead to a fine.
Swearinger sent a tweet on behalf of Keller, although he referred to him by the wrong name.
"Everybody pray 4 justin keller," Swearinger tweeted. "I pray you have a speedy recovery bro…and kill it when you get back…. DEFINITELY wasnt intentional."
Derek Wolfe says he'll be back on the football field soon. The Denver Broncos hope fellow starters Champ Bailey, Wes Welker, Louis Vasquez and Stewart Bradley will be there with him.
All of them were hurt in Denver's 40-10 preseason loss at Seattle on Saturday night.
Wolfe accompanied his teammates on their flight home after being whisked from the field in an ambulance after a scary scene in which he lay prone on the field for a few minutes following a hit to his head.
Medical staff strapped him to a backboard and sent him to a hospital for evaluation of a possible cervical spine injury. X-rays, CT scans and MRI exams were all negative.
"Thanks for the prayers everyone, ill be okay and will be back on the field soon …" Wolfe tweeted Sunday, an off day for the players.
The Broncos are counting on the second-year pro who had six sacks from the tackle position as a rookie last year to help fill the void if All-Pro linebacker Von Miller loses his appeal this week and has to sit out all of September for violating the league's drug-abuse policy.
Bailey, who's entering his 15th NFL season, hurt his left foot. Welker, who caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Manning, sprained his right ankle. Vasquez hurt his left knee and Bradley injured his left wrist.
Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson will make his preseason debut against the San Francisco 49ers this week, Vikings Coach Leslie Frazier said. Peterson sat out the first two games against Houston and Buffalo and hasn't played in an exhibition since 2011. ... Houston Texans running back Arian Foster will not be at practice Monday because of lower back soreness, Coach Gary Kubiak said. ... Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright will miss Tennessee's third preseason game with Atlanta after an MRI exam showed he sprained his right knee in a loss at Cincinnati. ... The Bengals released linebacker Aaron Maybin, a fifth-year player who signed with Cincinnati as a free agent in January.
The Chicago Bears signed quarterback Trent Edwards to a one-year contract and waived wide receiver Jerrell Jackson. ... Carolina Panthers three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jon Beason practiced in full pads for the first time since undergoing microfracture knee surgery in the off-season. ... The Cleveland Browns re-signed free-agent rookie running back Jamaine Cook, a move made necessary by injuries to Dion Lewis and Montario Hardesty. Cook was with the Browns earlier this year before he was waived on May 21. ... Jets linebacker Quinton Coples, New York's sacks leader last season as a rookie, is out indefinitely with an ankle injury that will require surgery.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times