Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline is still not practicing due to a calf injury, and he has not practiced with the team since the end of July. He missed time after an appendectomy, but Hartline hopes to get back to playing soon. He has looked good while sprinting, but he’s still limited and is rehabbing that calf.
Legedu Naanee has emerged in Hartline’s stead during training camp, and there are rumblings that he could start over Hartline due to the lack of practice and Naanee’s play in the offseason. If the Chad Johnson situation plays out poorly for the training camp standout and he ends up getting released, then Hartline’s definitely starting. But at this point, there is the possibility that the coaching staff rewards Naanee’s offseason by starting him.
That probably isn’t going to happen, because Hartline is the most consistent receiver on the Dolphins. He caught 35 passes for 549 yards last season, and he was the team’s second best wideout behind Brandon Marshall. Davone Bess had more catches, but Hartline was better overall and averaged 8.3 yards per target on a hefty 15.7 yards per reception. He had a lower 53% catch rate, but that’s because he is the team’s primary deep threat and stretches the field. The 8.3 YPT is synonymous with an average of 8.3 yards per attempt on passes thrown to Hartline, which is certainly a good number.
The ‘Fins receiving corps is thin without Hartline, and it will get a lot thinner if Johnson gets cut; they need Hartline to get healthy quickly. I don’t see how Naanee is better than him, even if he had a good camp; he was inconsistent last season for the Carolina Panthers.