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Dolphins' Lippett tears Achilles, out for the year

courtesy: Sun-Sentinel

Miami Dolphins cornerback Tony Lippett tore his Achilles tendon and is facing a lengthy rehab.

On Tuesday, coach Adam Gase said that Lippett is headed to injured reserve because of the injury he suffered during Monday’s practice.

Lippett, who started 13 games and contributed 67 tackles and a team-leading four interceptions last season, spent most of training camp working with the second-team defense, playing behind Byron Maxwell and Xavien Howard as a boundary cornerback.

“He jumped up, came down, no one touched him,” Gase said of Lippett’s injury.

“Anytime you lose a guy that has started [games] for you last year, it's not ideal. But that’s why we’ve collected the depth we have. That’s why we’re trying to get young players to go because this is what happens. We have to just keep developing these young players and that’s why every year we’re drafting a guy or when we get to college free agency, we feel like we found a couple of guys this year. We just want them to keep proving it to us. We feel like we’re pretty deep there and we just have to keep getting these guys better.”

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Lippett is the fourth player the Dolphins have lost to a serious injury during training camp.

“A lot of injuries we're having are things we can't control,” said Gase, who scaled back Tuesday’s practice, making it a walk-through inside the practice bubble because of how hard the team had been practicing for the past four weeks.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill and linebacker Raekwon McMillan suffered season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injuries. Offensive guard Ted Larsen tore a muscle in one of his biceps, but the Dolphins believe he’ll be able to return during the second half of the season.

NFL teams can have two players return from injured reserve, and it appears Miami feels Larsen, who was projected as the Dolphins’ starting left guard, can be one of them.

Lippett’s injury opens the door for Alterraun Verner, a Pro Bowler in 2013, to not only make it onto the Dolphins’ 53-man regular-season roster, but indicates that he might have a more prominent role.

“For him to just jump in here and start competing the way he’s competed has been very impressive,” Gase said of Verner, 28.

“He has fit in really well with us and I guess I didn’t really know how good outside he was until I had really seen him out here. He really has impressed me, being able to play corner as well as he has. He’s really tight in coverage and he’s got his hands on balls and being able to slide inside, I mean the value is high. It’s just tough to find guys like this.”

Verner, an eight-year veteran, has experience playing both on the boundary and inside at the nickel spot. He has started 70 NFL games during his career, contributing 436 tackles and pulling down 15 interceptions

The Dolphins are also grooming Torry McTyer, an undrafted rookie from UNLV, to play in the nickel spot, which means he could possibly challenge Jordan Lucas and Lafayette Pitts for a spot on the 53-man roster.

The Dolphins typically keep five or six cornerbacks on the 53-man roster, and carry at least one, maybe two, on the practice squad.

Defensive end Cameron Wake was the last Dolphins player who suffered an Achilles injury, and he was cleared to practice nine months after suffering his injury.

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