Written by Luis Sung | Twitter: @FLSportDebater
Last season, Jelani Jenkins was given opportunities to play in place of fellow linebacker Philip Wheeler due to Wheeler's consistent miscues on defense. Now with Dannell Ellerbe on the injured reserve with a hip injury, Jenkins is being given another opportunity to make an impact, and he's making the most of it.
While last season Jenkins only had a combined 17 tackles while playing in all 16 games - with the majority of it on special teams - this year Jenkins has amassed 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and is tied for first in the NFL with 35 combined tackles. But he's not letting his stats change the way he does anything.
“Stats are just showing the hard work that I’ve put in since I got here." Jenkins said, "I don’t want to change anything that I’m doing moving forward. I’m just going to keep on coming to work every day and everything else will play out. So far it’s played out pretty well.”
While Jenkins play has been a very pleasant surprise to the majority of Dolphins fans, Jenkins has stated that he's not at all surprised by what he's done.
“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised. I guess the way that it all happened, as fast as it did, I didn’t prepare for that to happen. But I’m not necessarily surprised at how I’ve played. I have tremendous confidence in myself.”
Hopefully Jenkins will keep up that supreme confidence, and use it to continue to improve and strengthen a linebacker corps that has been average at best so far this season.