Tight end Dustin Keller's reasons for passing on a long-term deal with the Miami Dolphins in favor of a one-year "prove it" contract were understandable.
Keller, who topped out with a 65-catch, 815-yard season with the Jets in 2011, only played eight games last year. He didn't get much attention as a free agent, and decided that he could get the long-term deal he wanted after a productive 2013. So he took a $4.5 million deal with Miami.
That's part of what made Keller's injury against Houston so tough to watch. On an incompletion in the second quarter (and Miami coach Joe Philbin, right or wrong, will have to answer why his starters including Keller were in the game deep into the second quarter), Texans rookie safety D.J. Swearinger hit Keller in the knee. It bent in a really bad way.
Fox Sports' Alex Marvez broke the unsurprising news that Keller is out for the rest of the season. ESPN reported on the severity: Keller tore his ACL, PCL, MCL and dislocated his knee. Given how significant that injury is, hopefully Keller will be able to get healthy by training camp next year, for whatever team he's on.
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) August 18, 2013
Keller was in obvious pain and was carted off the field. If it didn't hit him while he rode on that cart, at some point Keller will probably wonder if he did the right thing this offseason.
Again, it made sense. Keller could have had a nice season had he stayed healthy, out of the Jets' terrible passing offense. He had already hooked up with quarterback Ryan Tannehill for a preseason touchdown last week.
“(M)y worth wasn’t where I think it was at," Keller told the Miami Herald in May. So I took a gamble on myself and said I’m better than everyone thinks I am. This is where I want to be long term. But I want to prove to them I’m better than last year.”
It just looked like a bad gamble in retrospect as he was being taken off the field.
Every preseason injury stinks. But in Keller's case, it really hurts.
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