Miami defense hurt by Delmas injury

The Dolphins' Louis Delmas is out with a torn ACL. He has been one of the best coverage safeties in the NFL in recent years.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Miami defense hurt by Delmas injury

The Miami Dolphins suffered a blow to their starting secondary Wednesday, as Louis Delmas has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his right knee. This is the same injury that ended his season in December of last year.

Delmas, while not spectacular, has always been a starting quality safety.  He finished an up-and-down year last season with a slightly negative grade (-.2 overall), after finishing with a +2.8 overall grade in 2013.

He will be missed mostly in coverage. In 2014 he ranked 10th in our safeties coverage stat, allowing only one reception for every 36 snaps in coverage. He ranked third in that same category in 2013, allowing only one catch for every 42.4 coverage snaps.

The Dolphins don’t have a lot of safety experience on the roster. Walt Aikens, Jordan Kovacs, and Mike Thomas all played a combined 193 snaps last season. Philip Thomas was a free-agent addition from the Redskins, and he has starting experience, but he struggled down the stretch and finished the season at -9 overall with a -8.1 coverage grade. Another option could be the Dolphins’ fifth-round pick Cedric Thompson, but no matter what, Miami is looking at a downgrade at the position with Delmas out.

| Director of Analytics

Nathan has been with Pro Football Focus since 2010. He is the Director of Analytics, an NFL analyst, and a fantasy writer.

  • CountMahdrof

    “no matter what, Miami is looking at a downgrade at the position with Delmas out.”

    Man, I wish my crystal ball worked as well. Considering Aikens and Thomas (2 leading candidates) are admittedly inexperienced, on what basis can you KNOW that they represent a downgrade? Statisticians deal with sample sizes. Aikens and Thomas do not have sample sizes large enough to reach any conclusions. This new simplicity and the ESPN talking point, three or four-paragraph articles format is why I no longer subscribe.

    • nonono

      while i agree the site has watered stuff down (hopefully temporarily) it shouldnt have an influence on whether you subscribe to the premium stats which havent changed

  • fkr

    walt aikens has a chance to prove himself. a 3 sport star (football, basketball and track) from a division II school who got a got a senior bowl invite. he was a ball hawk with 7 INT in college who also forced fumbles with 6. good size and athleticism. He had maturity issues and if those are resolved he could be a good replacement level player. lets not forget that he is replacing a replacement level player and not a pro bowl type. hopefully other teams have the same problem the dolphins had last year which was the QB never has more than 4 seconds to throw the ball and deep coverage will not be exposed.