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Rookie defensive end
“Dion has missed some practice time, so we’re trying to add what we think he may be able to handle for the game,” Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said. “We haven’t made any final decisions yet; 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 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.”
The first-round draft selection and No. 3 overall pick was active on special teams drills and lined up with the defense during team drills. After showing flashes of the talent that convinced the Dolphins to trade up for him in April’s NFL Draft in the first two preseason games, Jordan was forced to miss the last three due to injury.
It’s been an up-and-down transition from college to the NFL for the former Oregon standout as he missed all of the offseason OTAs and minicamps while finishing up his final quarter of academics. Jordan was unable to practice at the rookie minicamp and the first two days of training camp because of his health, and then was beginning to make up for lost time by the second preseason game at Jacksonville.
But at some point that night against the Jaguars he reaggravated his injured shoulder and was back watching from the sidelines for a couple of weeks. Now Jordan is staying cautiously optimistic, cognizant of how quickly circumstances can change.
“My mindset’s still to continue to work, as far as my rehab, my strength,” said Jordan, who at 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds is an imposing figure for any offensive tackle. “(I want to) get as much work as I can out there on the field, because that's going to determine how well I play, or even if I play coming this week.”
Jordan is already envisioning what the atmosphere is going to be like Sunday in Cleveland with the Browns fans intent on being loud. It’s a moment he knows will be a memorable one no matter what happens.
“I’m going to be excited. It’s my first professional regular season game,” he said. “I’m just going to probably have to control my emotions. When I get out there, I’m going to be able to help my team and be ready.”