Sunday, September 22, 2013

Jordan sees extended action in Wake's absence


The Miami Dolphins knew that facing a highly-talented Atlanta Falcons offense already without a pair of injured starters would be a tremendous challenge going into Sunday's game.

So when star pass rusher Cameron Wake went down with a knee injury in the first quarter, a replacement was needed to step up, and badly. That guy turned out be top draft pick Dion Jordan, who's served simply as a depth pass rusher so far this season.

Jordan, while not making a major mark on the box score, gave the Dolphins some production in relief of Wake and helped a banged-up defense slow down a powerful offense when it was needed.

“Little Man grew up today,” defensive lineman Jared Odrick said regarding Jordan after Miami's 27-23 win, according to the Palm Beach Post. “Nine-five made some little plays that probably won’t be glorified that were key plays, down on the goal line and a few other times, especially at the end.”

The rookie defensive end was forced into extended action with Wake's injury, and turned in solid work, including on early downs that he previously would have been on the sidelines for.

Jordan's biggest play of the game was perhaps on the game-sealing interception by Jimmy Wilson in the final minute of the fourth quarter, when his quick pressure and contact with Matt Ryan prevented the quarterback from getting enough on the pass.

“I just gunned,” Jordan said of the play. “I didn’t have anything to worry about. Just get off on the ball and try to get in his face.”

Odrick added: “It was awesome for Dion to get in there, get pressure and twist his shoulder a little bit, make the throw a little off."

This game was Jordan's first significant contribution in regular season play since being drafted with the No. 3 overall pick in April's draft, a designation that carries with it heavy expectations.

His play in this game didn't answer all the questions about his ability, but stepping in and playing well for in a defense bitten by injuries will have to do for now.

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