Not 24 hours after the Miami Dolphins picked up their first win of the season, did they have two more bombshells drop on the team.
Standout rookie wide receiver Preston Williams will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL against the New York Jets on Sunday. Additionally, now-starting running back Mark Walton has been suspended for the next four games after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
“It’s a big loss for us. I talked to him (Williams) this morning. He’s done an incredible job, really. He came in as a free agent and he has really kind of grown over the last six months, seven months. I was devastated for the kid, and he was as well,” head coach Brian Flores said. “I told him this was just a bump in the road and he’ll be back. I believe if he attacks his rehab and his training the way he did from the time he got here, he’ll be just fine.”
Williams went from knee sprain to torn ACL quickly
When Williams exited the game early on Sunday the team reported it was a sprained knee, but a MRI today revealed he sustained a complete ligament tear. He will undergo surgery to repair the ACL in the short haul, shutting him down for the rest of 2019 and now putting his start to the 2020 season in jeopardy.
Williams is in Miami’s long-term rebuilding plan, but just has a setback for the time being. The Dolphins will keep him on the roster during his recovery, as well as after.
Who’s left in the Dolphins receiving core?
“From DeVante (Parker) to Allen Hurns to Albert (Wilson) to Jakeem (Grant), I think we just need the next guy to step up. At the end of the day, that’s really what it boils down to,” Flores said. “While Preston is a big loss, it opens up an opportunity for some of these other guys. Isaiah Ford has been on and off the roster. I think he’s definitely somebody we have a lot of confidence in.”
The Dolphins have a plethora of receivers healthy, including Grant and Wilson who haven’t been 100-percent this season, but it is yet to be known who will be the three starters in Indianapolis in week 10, when Miami could potentially face a Colts team that’s missing starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett, as well as knowing No. 1 WR T.Y. Hilton is already out.
Walton suspended for substance abuse
If that wasn’t enough, Walton won’t be eligible to return until week 14 in New York against the Jets after violating the leagues’ substance abuse policy.
Walton has dealt with possible suspensions this season even before this incident, as he was arrested three times in three months following the 2019 NFL Draft. However, according to the Miami Herald this suspension lingers from one of those incidents, and isn’t new. At the time of the arrests, the NFL said it needed time to investigate the incidents and would hand down any suspensions at a later date if warranted. Well the first later date for the first suspension is here.
There was no comment on Walton’s other two incidents, so knowing if any further suspensions are coming is currently unknown.