Miami Dolphins: Koa Misi can’t be counted on in 2017

Koa Misi restructured his deal this offseason and is a solid fourth linebacker, but the Miami Dolphins can’t bank on him being available this season.

To keep his roster spot with the Miami Dolphins, linebacker Koa Misi took a pay cut in March heading into the final year of his contract. He’s been a team player and is an excellent option to have as a rotational guy coming off the bench. As a starter, he’s average at best, but Miami would like to have him at their disposal. Unfortunately they can’t depend on him due to his injury woes.

The already oft-injured linebacker missed 13 games last season due to a serious neck injury. The injury was so serious that he underwent spinal fusion surgery, which is as major as it sounds. His status is already completely up in the air. We’ve heard everything from there are hopes he’ll be ready for training camp to he may be out until 2018.

The most recent news came from The Miami Herald‘s Barry Jackson:

Several months after undergoing spinal fusion surgery in the wake of a neck injury early last season, Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi still has not been cleared by doctors to return to football activities, leaving his football status in question.

Misi saw a doctor in the past two weeks and plans to see one again before the start of camp in late July, according to a source. He remains hopeful about being cleared to play this season, but it’s impossible for anyone to know when he will be cleared.

His job as a starter was already a thing of the past. After the Dolphins traded for Kiko Alonso, signed Lawrence Timmons and drafted Raekwon McMillan in recent offseasons, that was clear. However, Misi was still set to be the primary or one of the primary backups. Now it looks like Neville Hewitt will have a much larger role heading into 2017.

While Miami has had a love/hate relationship with Misi as a player, he has been nothing but a strong Dolphin. Sadly, I have a bad feeling this may be the end of the line for him. There is much more depth at linebacker and with injuries looming he may have his work cut out to make the 53-man roster, or even stay off of the injured reserved. If healthy, I believe he’ll make the cut, but that’s a huge “if”.

Maybe he will bounce back quicker and better than expected. Or maybe his exit will open the door for the next up-and-coming linebacker to step through. Either way, the Phins must hope for the best, but prepare for the worst when it comes to Misi’s availability.

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