Miami Dolphins cornerback Jalen Ramsey is expected to be out until December after undergoing a full meniscus repair in his left knee on Friday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source.
The question at that point was which course of action the doctors would be able to take to repair the ligament damage, as a meniscus trim would have led to an estimated six week recovery period, but a full repair would lengthen that timeline significantly.
With the news that the cornerback's injury did, in fact, require the more intensive surgical option, the Dolphins are now expected to be without their new star CB for more than half the season.
Ramsey has yet to play a snap in a Dolphins uniform, having been traded to Miami by the Rams in March. With his absence now confirmed to stretch into the regular season, the Dolphins will have to replace his expected production in the secondary.
Speaking ahead of the surgery Friday morning, Miami head coach Mike McDaniel said he had confidence in the ability of the rest of the roster to step up in Ramsey's absence.
"I feel good about the entire crew," McDaniel said, via team transcripts. "We are dealing with some injuries now in that group. But I feel very, very good about the competition there, and the guys that are ready to go see some more opportunities. There's Pro Bowlers and hungry young guys and everything in between. So it'll be outstanding work for us moving forward."
McDaniel also said that Ramsey's attitude in response to the news of his injury was inspiring, detailing how the cornerback spoke to the team after Thursday's practice
"What was the most amazing thing about the whole thing was the way Jalen responded. He spoke to the team yesterday and it really moved a lot of people," McDaniel said. "He first let everybody know how much he appreciated this team and how this team has accepted him. He's been in the league for a little bit and he knows what we're doing here and his opinion is special for his position group not to waver, and exuded all the confidence he has in that position group. One of the things that he said that was real cool for everybody was he told all his teammates not to worry, not to feel sorry for him. He's going on whatever timeline the doctors give him. He's going after that timeline and trying to flex that he'll beat it.
"He realistically couldn't be more committed and excited to join the team again this year, whenever that is. It isn't really up to him and he knows that, but adversity is not really an issue. It's an opportunity for a lot of guys to come together and stand up. It was a team moment that was really put together by Jalen and that's where it stands right now."
While it is obviously disheartening for the Dolphins to be playing without their newly acquired six-time Pro Bowler for much of the season, a small glimmer of hope rests in the fact that if Ramsey returns around December as predicted, he will be able to join Miami for a potential playoff push over the final few weeks and possibly an appearance in the postseason.
They'll just have to hold down the fort until that time.