Dolphins confirm Jay Ajayi's concussion, RB expected to miss at least a week
A concussion early in camp isn't good news for the Dolphins' breakout star of 2016
The decision by Dolphins head coach Adam Gase to go full-contact in training camp was met with some scrutiny by fans, but Gase was adamant that early contact is necessary for players to prepare for the grueling regular season. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, they've already sustained their first concussion casualty, and it's no role player. Running back Jay Ajayi has officially been diagnosed with a concussion, days after entering protocols after exhibiting concussion-like symptoms.
Ajayi was a breakout star for the Dolphins in 2016. He rushed for over 1,200 yards, including three games in which he picked up 200 yards or more. Ajayi showcased an ability to rip off big runs while also grinding a defense to dust. His consistency may be a bit suspect; outside of those three 200-yard games he only had one other 100-yard plus game, but he showed big play potential throughout the year.
Last year was only his second in the league, but his injury history is starting to become a laundry list. Ajayi dislocated his shoulder last year, plus he fractured his ribs and injured his hamstring in 2015. On top of all of this, he tore his ACL back at Boise State. Concussions are obviously a different beast due to what they can do to players beyond football (and throughout their careers), so Gase and the Dolphins will have to tread carefully with Ajayi in the future.
The Dolphins are slated for a Week 4 matchup in London against the New Orleans Saints, which will be a homecoming of sorts for Ajayi, who was born in London before moving to the United States when he was 7. Obviously Ajayi won't want to miss that event, and barring some kind of new injury, it's unlikely that he will. However, with the NFL's concussion protocols being as strict as they are, should the symptoms persist it may be out of his hands.
As for the Dolphins, this likely won't change their running plan. Damian Williams and Kenyan Drake will still likely spell Ajayi. However, Ajayi may be kept out of full-contact practices for the foreseeable future. The extent of Ajayi's concussion is unknown, but Miami is expecting him to miss at least a week of drills. After that, per protocols, he will go through the usual tests to see if he is fit to return to practice.
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