MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips was as of late Monday closing on a decision about when, how, and by whom his ruptured Achilles tendon will be surgically repaired.
“I think they’ve spent a lot of time consulting with a lot of different experts in the field,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said Monday. “I think they’ve narrowed it down. They’ll probably have the exact formula, the exact surgeon, and place of surgery here in the next 24 hours.
“They’ve been diligent trying to make sure they have all the information and all the different directions we can go and do what’s most comfortable for Jaelan, as well as the best thing for the Miami Dolphins football team.”
The best thing for the Dolphins in the long term is for Phillips to get back to a dominant level in 2024.
The best thing for them in the short term? For Emmanuel Ogbah to deliver as their best possible insurance policy.
All Eyes on Miami Dolphins DE Emmanuel Ogbah
Ogbah has been a largely forgotten man for much of 2023, despite having the team’s highest cap figure ($17.2 million).
Before Phillips’ injury, Ogbah had been the team’s No. 4 option at edge rusher, behind even Andrew Van Ginkel.
The demotion was surely humbling, but Ogbah never made waves, never demanded a trade (at least publicly), but instead patiently bided his time.
The events of the last week have proven it to be the right approach.
Ogbah now enters the season’s stretch run as one of the freshest players at his position — and one the Dolphins will need at his best to keep their Super Bowl hopes realistic.
Emmanuel Ogbah SZN pic.twitter.com/PPYQXtOggA
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) November 27, 2023
“It’s been frustrating, but I’m excited for this opportunity,” Ogbah told reporters Monday. “I’m just looking forward to it.”
“… It definitely sucks seeing my brother go down,” he added. “I told him, ‘I’ve got to get me one for you.’ After the game, I had to run up to him and say, ‘Hey, man, I’m thinking about you,’ just to give him that support when I can.”
Ogbah was probably deserving of more snaps even before Phillips got hurt.
He has been on the field for just 21.3% of the Dolphins’ defensive snaps — fourth among Miami pass rushers. And yet, his four sacks are just 2.5 off the team lead (held by Phillips and Christian Wilkins).
Ogbah also leads the team with five hurries, and he has five quarterback hits and 15 pressures on the year.
“The sky is the limit for me,” he said. “Like I said, I’ve always been ready, I’ve always stayed ready. I’m just waiting on the opportunity.”
He added: “I mean, the guys in the room, they understand. They understood what I was going through. The outside linebackers, the D-line room, I’m tied in with those guys. They’d just come up to me and kept telling me, ‘Hey, don’t worry, we’re going to need you this season. We’re going to need you eventually this season.’ So I just stayed focused and just kept on being a good presence in the room.”
Reportedly joining Ogbah in the Dolphins’ defensive front? South Florida native Jason Pierre-Paul, who has 94.5 sacks in his 14-year career. The Dolphins plan to sign Pierre-Paul off the Saints’ practice squad, per NFL Media.
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