Sceanario #1 – The Dolphins do not place Pouncey on the PUP. If this happens I think it is much less likely the Dolphins are going to keep a veteran center they sign on the 53 man roster. At this time the Dolphins are very deep on the D-Line and at WR. Not to mention we have skill players like Marcus Thigpen that we may want to make a spot for in that mix. Keeping a veteran center on opening day along with Mike Pouncey basically means we are going to be short a spot on the roster and have to a cut a solid player providing depth or contributing on special teams. With that being said what events would make Miami lean towards keeping Pouncey off the PUP? The obvious of course is Mike Pouncey being ahead of schedule on rehab and looking like he will be football ready by the 3rd of 4th game. Other factors that might play into this is how the current options look during camp . If someone like Nate Gardner or Sam Brenner seem to be handling the job ok. Then the Dolphins could just roll the dice leaving Pouncey on the active roster unsure when he will be ready.
Scenario #2 – The Dolphins place Pouncey on the PUP. If this happens the Dolphins are going to have to commit to a player to hold down the center position for at least 6 games. In this case the Dolphins may choose to keep a veteran center on the 53 man roster. Keep in mind that the veteran center is going to need to come in learn the system and beat out the current players trying for the spot by a decent margin. If there is much of possibility that Pouncey will take longer than 3 months to recover then I see the team probably keeping a veteran center on the 53 man roster . Even if one of the current Dolphins players is looking adequate to play the position I think you have to be nervous about another injury. They will want to get a veteran in right now and get them ready even if they are an only an insurance policy for Pouncey’s rehab. One other possibility (or maybe wishful thinking) would be that whoever takes over as center plays very well through the preseason. In that case Miami will probably feel a bit more comfortable to just put Pouncey on the PUP and give him plenty of time to get himself ready even if it were possible he could play. Being able to play and being able to play 100% are two different things. There is a real possibility that Mike Pouncey will not be an upgrade over the replacement center until later into the season.In any scenario I think the Dolphins have time to make a decision. So I expect them to try different combinations of players on the roster and add maybe 2-3 players to get some healthy competition. This is not near as bad as losing him on the 1st play of the regular season. The team will be just fine. Fins Up!