Updated:DAVIE, Fla. (AP) (AP)
Miami Dolphins first-round draft pick Dion Jordan is expected to play as a pass rusher in the season opener Sunday despite his curtailed training camp regimen, and he might also see duty on special teams.
Jordan missed the final three exhibition games because of a lingering shoulder injury. He returned to practice last week, and following Monday's workout, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said the No. 3 overall draft pick should be ready to go Sunday against Cleveland.
"Dion has missed some practice time, so we're trying to add what we think he may be able to handle for the game," Coyle said. "He got a good amount of reps in practice today, so we're excited about that. At the end of the week we'll feel better able to judge where he's at, but he's going to have a significant role in the game plan this week, I guarantee you that."
That sounds good to Jordan.
"I'm going to be excited," he said. "I'm just going to probably have to control my emotions."
Jordan was drafted primarily for his pass-rushing skills but also played special teams at Oregon. He worked with the defense Monday, and coach Joe Philbin also had him on kick coverage.
"It's a critical play in football, and we're going to use whoever we feel is going to be the best to help us pin the opponent down," Philbin said.
The speedy, 6-foot-6, 260-pound Jordan said he wants to play on coverage units.
"I feel like once I get down there, it's hard for one of the little guys to block me," he said. "I'm a competitor, so any time I'm able to get out there and help the team, I'm down for it. I wouldn't question my athletic ability for anything."
On defense, Jordan is expected to be used as an end in passing situations opposite Pro Bowl end Cameron Wake. Despite his curtailed practice time, Jordan said he has adjusted to lining up in a three-point stance in Miami's 4-3 scheme, rather than standing up as he did playing linebacker at Oregon.
He said he has benefited from mentoring by veterans such as Wake, who has the locker next to Jordan's.
"I've learned a lot," Jordan said. "The transition hasn't been too hard."
Notes: Rookie cornerbacks Will Davis (left foot) and Jamar Taylor (undisclosed injury) sat out practice and worked with trainers on the side. Their status means Nolan Carroll and R.J. Stanford will likely be the third and fourth cornerbacks against Cleveland. ... Receivers Marvin McNutt and Brian Tyms were among the eight players signed to the practice squad. Joining them were defensive backs De'Andre Presley and Jordan Kovacs, center Sam Brenner, tackle Jason Weaver, defensive tackle Al Lapuaho and tight end Kyle Miller.
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