NFL.com's Ian Rapoport confirmed the inevitable Sunday, reporting that Keller will be lost for the entire season, according to a source informed of the injury. Specifically, Rapoport reported Keller tore his ACL, PCL, MCL and also dislocated his kneecap. That's similar to the string of injuries suffered by current 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore last October.
In an email sent to Rapoport on Sunday, Keller expressed his gratitude for all the support he's received from family and fans.
"I just want everyone to know that as disappointing as this is I don't want anybody feeling sorry for me," Keller wrote. "It's going to be a hard road back, but I promise I'm going to come back stronger, faster and be a better player than before.
"I'm very confident that my team is going to have a great season and even though I won't be on the field this year I am behind my guys 100%! More than anything, I'd like to thank all my family, friends and teammates for their prayers and support. I'm glad to have the support system in my life that I do."
The injury leaves a gaping hole in Miami's roster. The team was busy calling around for tight end help Sunday morning, according to the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero, but Keller's pass-catching ability won't be replaced.
He was brought in to give young quarterback Ryan Tannehill a sure-handed target underneath, one who would keep defenses honest and spring Mike Wallace free downfield. Now a combination of Charles Clay, Michael Egnew and rookie Dion Sims will attempt to fill Keller's shoes. Miami will be forced to realign its offensive approach through the air.
For Keller, it's a crushing blow after he signed a one-year contract this offseason, essentially betting on himself to produce a monster season in Miami. After witnessing his early chemistry with Tannehill, that seemed likely, but now the Dolphins are left to pick up the pieces.
With an injury of this magnitude, it's fair to wonder if and when Dustin Keller will play again.The Around The League Podcast is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.