The Miami Dolphins will be without their starting nose tackle for at least the next three games.
The team placed second-year player Raekwon Davis on injured reserve Tuesday, two days after he sustained a knee injury in the team's 17-16 victory against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
Under the new NFL rules, Davis being placed on IR doesn't mean he's out for the season, though he'll have to miss at least three games.
Head coach Brian Flores said Monday he didn't know the extent of Davis' injury because the 2020 second-round pick from Alabama was still undergoing test.
In Davis' absence, veteran John Jenkins handled the bulk of the work at nose tackle, though it's possible (if not likely) that the team will want to bring in another defensive lineman on the 53-man roster.
The practice squad includes one defensive tackle, second-year player Benito Jones, who played six games for the Dolphins in 2020 after arriving as an undrafted free agent out of Ole Miss.
Depending on the severity of Davis' injury and how long he'll be out, another option is to look outside the organization.
Unfortunately, the best defensive tackles available at this time, like Geno Atkins and Kawann Short, are better fits for a 4-3 scheme that the three-man front the Dolphins most often employ.
Among interior defensive linemen well suited for a 3-4 (or 3-3-5) is former Lions and Giants starter Damon "Snacks" Harrison. Veteran Mike Pennel is another interesting name out there, but he sustained a groin injury in camp that led to the Chicago Bears placed him on IR before they released him with an injury settlement.
Davis was injured on only his fifth snap of the 2021 season when he was double-teamed on a running play by the Patriots and linebacker Sam Eguavoen fell onto his right knee.
He stayed on the ground for a few minutes before walking off on his own, even attempting to jog at first before he began walking with a limp.
Davis remained on the sideline and even had his helmet on at one point, but he did not return to the game.
"Look, nothing is more important than the health of a player," Flores said Monday. "That’s the approach we will take and that’s the approach we took with him (Sunday). We held him out, which kind of lets you know we didn’t want to put him back in there.”