There’s another surprise coming in the Dolphins secondary.
By now, you know that Will Allen has been placed on injured reserve, even though he was targeting a return for the Sept. 26 game against the Jets, and maybe even Sept. 19 against the Vikings if the team deemed that necessary.
But here’s something else on the horizon: Sean Smith, who started all 16 games at cornerback as a Dolphins rookie, is not in line to start the season opener.
Fifth-year man Jason Allen has been penciled in as the starting cornerback in place of Smith, and Smith was made aware of that decision over the weekend. Vontae Davis will start at the other perimeter cornerback, and Benny Sapp will serve as the nickel back. Nolan Carroll is also available.
Jason Allen started the third exhibition game against Falcons in place of Smith after the latter violated a team rule by arriving late, and Tony Sparano decided to sit him for the first quarter.
Shortly after entering, Smith was beaten cleanly by Pro Bowl receiver Roddy White on a double-move, but Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan missed the throw. Smith got back in the starting lineup for the fourth game Thursday at Dallas — as Davis rested — and was outrun for a deep touchdown by Cowboys speedster Sam Hurd, one of the few experienced Dallas players in the contest. Not long after, Hurd drew a pass interference call on Smith.
The Dolphins have not given up on Smith.
But, at the moment, they’re ready to give Jason Allen a chance to give them the consistency that Smith has not.