With Moreno Out For The Season, Lamar Miller to Show What He’s Got

On Tuesday morning, the Miami Dolphins announced that they have placed running back Knowshon Moreno on season-ending injured reserve with an ACL injury. The former Denver Bronco signed a one-year contract with the Dolphins and will be an unrestrictive free agent after the season.

Moreno returned to the Dolphins in Week 6 after having an elbow injury that kept him on the sideline the last two weeks. Moreno is currently second on the team in carries (31) and rushing yards (148). He also averaged 4.8 yards per carry. With Moreno’s season-ending injury, it is time for Lamar Miller to show if he can become an every down lead back.

Prior to the 2014 season, Miller hasn’t lived up to expectations. The former Miami Hurricane had rushed for 959 yards during his first two seasons in the NFL. So far this season, Miller is having the best season of his career.

The former fourth-round pick has rushed for 330 yards on 63 carries in five games this season. Miller is also averaging 5.2 yards per carry with two rushing touchdowns and one receiving.

Miller’s transformation this season, in comparing his two previous seasons, is his running style and catching ability. Previously, Miller would often go down after the first defender touched him. This season, he is breaking more tackles and carrying the ball with a lot more of an edge.

Miller’s catching ability out of the backfield has also improved from his previous seasons. He had a combined 32 catches in his first two seasons in the NFL. Already in five games, Miller has 15 catches and is on pace for a 48 catch and 304 yards receiving season.

With Moreno out for the season, head coach Joe Philbin and the Dolphins’ staff will have to adjust their game plan to get Miller more carries. Miller hasn’t had more 15 carries so far this season.  Philbin has been reluctant to give him the carries like an everyday back likely because of Miller’s inconsistency in the past.

With Moreno injured, Miller along with Damien Williams and Daniel Thomas are the only three running backs on the Dolphins roster. So while the Dolphins have been limiting Miller’s carries this season, the team doesn’t have a choice, but give him more carries. Miller certainly has the talent to be an every down back, but needs to show more consistence over an entire season for coaches and fans to be sold.  Dolphin fans are finding out if now, finally, it’s ‘Miller Time.’