Joey Porter's knee injury is bad news
Porter, it seems, is likely going to have arthroscopic surgery and that has been a cause for some alarm because he is only the biggest acquisition of the offseason -- bar none- and the reputation of a lot of folks is at stake as Porter either succeeds or fails in Miami.
So the Dolphins are being very cautious in making a decision about the player to whom they delivered $20 million in guaranteed money.
Because the contract was sooo large and because it came even as the Pittsburgh Steelers decided Porter wasn't worth the $5 million he was to earn this year, the team welcomed the idea that Porter get a second opinion on what to do with the knee after he initially saw team doctors last week.
The Dolphins are holding their breath because, now that this is becoming an issue, it marks the second year in a row their signature offseason acquisition might be having knee issues. (Um, remember someone named Culpepper last year?)
So the team is treading very carefully here. It has already refuted a report on profootballtalk.com that said Porter had already undergone knee surgery. I spoke with a spokesman of Dr. James Andrews today and no such surgery has been performed at this time.
That doesn't mean it won't happen. But simply the evaluation probably isn't complete as of this writing. (Quick aside: Have you noticed how many Dolphins players don't totally trust the words of the team's doctors and seek second opinions, not to mention how many would rather get their surgery with someone else?)
This situation, which would be a passing blip on the typical radar, is mountain huge at Dolphins camp because it begs some tough questions:
1. Did Porter have this knee issue before the Dolphins signed him?
2. Did the Steelers know something about Porter's health, which led them to get rid of him?
3. Even if Porter didn't have this issue when he signed, how long has his knee been bothering him, because after all, if he would have spoken up in the offseason it wouldn't be an issue now.
4. How is it that Cam Cameron said today he didn't know what the first opinion given by doctors was even as he was announcing Porter is getting a second opinion? He's the team's coach, right? Don't they tell him stuff?
Anyway, it says here that regardless of how serious or not this knee injury is, the damage is likely to be felt into the regular season.
If Porter decides against surgery, this issue isn't something that simply will disappear so it will be a recurring theme all year long until he gets the injury completely resolved. If he gets the surgery he will likely miss -- best case scenario -- two to four weeks of practice time.
Why is that important? The last time I talked to Porter (last week) he told me he still wasn't completely comfortable in the Dolphins system and he couldn't really go full-tilt in that system until he found that comfort level.
Said another way, Porter won't be Porter until he gets the defense.
And so if he misses a good amount of practice, that is a significant setback considering the Sept. 9 regular-season opener is only five weeks away. It will mean he'll be getting comfortable on the fly -- during the regular season.
That is, of course, assuming he's full-go in the regular season -- which could be an unwise assumption based on this team's recent history with knees.