Miami Dolphins lose starter to significant injury. And coordinators address issues

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Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Davon Godchaux sustained a potentially season-ending biceps injury in Sunday’s game against San Francisco — a blow to the interior of the team’s defensive line.

According to a source, a doctor told Godchaux that there’s typically a three-month recovery for his injury.

Godchaux hopes to return by the end of the season, but that would require beating that timetable.

The NFL regular season is scheduled to conclude Jan. 3. But postponements of games due to COVID-19 could push the season into mid-January, increasing the chances of Godchaux’s return.

So the expectation is he will go on injured reserve and miss most or all of the season.

Godchaux, a fifth-round pick in 2017, has started all 37 games in which he has appeared for the Dolphins during the past two-plus seasons.

“Davon’s leadership, work ethic, all that stuff has been great,” defensive coordinator Josh Boyer said. “On top of that, he’s been able to give us production on the field.”

Zach Sieler is likely to replace Godchaux in the starting lineup alongside defensive end/tackle Christian Wilkins and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah.

Rookie defensive tackle Raekwon Davis, the team’s second-round pick, also is now in line to receive more snaps.

If Godchaux’s season is over, it’s possible that his four-year Dolphins career also could be over. He will be an unrestricted free agent in March.

Godchaux has 16 tackles in five starts this season and played 26 snaps Sunday before sustaining the injury, which was not announced by the team.

Sieler has 10 tackles and three quarterback hits in five games. The undrafted third-year player from Ferris State made his second career start Sunday against San Francisco, replacing injured Shaq Lawson.

Asked if Davis is ready to handle a bigger workload, Boyer declined to answer directly but said “Raekwon is a guy we have a good amount of confidence in. There’s a constant reminder of you need to get better on this, build on this. We hope [he] continues to improve week by week.”

Rookie fifth-round defensive end Jason Strowbridge, who has been inactive all five games, can play defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense at 273 pounds.

The Dolphins have one natural defensive tackle on their practice squad in undrafted 316-pound rookie Benito Jones and a big end/tackle in undrafted 291-pound rookie Nick Coe.

COORDINATORS WEIGH IN

Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick “does some things with this offense we have that are truly amazing to me. We’ll call a route and he’ll change one little wrinkle to it because he sees something and will be able to take advantage of the defense.”

He said Fitzpatrick on Sunday changed one route that resulted in a touchdown. “He’s a special guy in that respect,...” Gailey said “He’s a lot smarter than me.”

Gailey was delighted with receiver Preston Williams’ big game Sunday (four catches for 106 yards and a touchdown).

“It was just a matter of time” Gailey said. “He has been practicing well, working on his routes, doing some good things.

“He got the ball, took advantage of it and made plays. That does nothing but help our football team. They’ve got to worry about him, DeVante Parker on the other side, Jakeem Grant, Mike Gesicki. I’m glad we were able to get him more involved.”

Gailey said the Dolphins are training Lynn Bowden Jr. at slot receiver and wildcat quarterback: “We keep expanding both packages, and we try to play him on regular downs so they don’t know if wildcat is in or wildcat is not in.”

Bowden, who played 10 offensive snaps on Sunday, was acquired Labor Day weekend from Las Vegas and Gailey noted “he didn’t get any of the preseason. He didn’t get any of the base [offense] stuff [because he wasn’t at Dolphins training camp].

“It’s a little tougher to learn when you don’t get base concepts from Day One. He’s learning it. And now we’ve thrown wildcat package on him, which takes some time away from the other [slot receiver].”

Bowden also is working as a punt and kickoff returner behind Grant.

Dolphins defensive coordinator Josh Boyer said the defensive backfield is “getting better” and credited safety Bobby McCain for his communication skills.