Last season, the Miami Dolphins gave a one-year prove-it deal to a player who has only played an entire season once in his whole career due to various injuries. This past year he made it to 15 games before his knee gave out and it seemed that the torn ACL had sealed his fate and cut his Dolphins career short.
So it came with great shock when the Dolphins re-signed safety Louis Delmas to the same deal he was signed to the year before, as fans were absolutely positive that he would be forced to start the season on the PUP list while he continued his recovery.
It came with even greater shock when it was revealed that just a mere five months after suffering his ACL injury, Delmas was already running, jumping and cutting as if he'd never been hurt in the first place.
"I don't think Louis is human," starting strong safety Reshad Jones said. "He's actually back right now running around like he never had surgery. Louis is running, no limp. He's doing all the drills that we're doing. He looks fine. I think he'll be ready, and he'll be able to help us."
And help he will, if last year is anything to go by. In order to truly see the impact Delmas made while on defense, one has to look beyond the raw statistics he put up. With 51 solo tackles, one sack and one interception (which he did return for a touchdown against the Jaguars' Blake Bortles), Delmas doesn't look like he did much on the surface. But thanks to some interesting research by Twitter's own Chris Kouffman (@ckparrot), Delmas apparently had a much greater impact than it appeared.
That in itself is a very telling statistic that you won't find on any box score, and it speaks to the hidden impact Delmas made beyond the numbers.
Watching film will show quite clearly that Delmas was a leader on the football field, consistently running up to the line of scrimmage to shout out something for the defensive line and linebackers to keep an eye on. He also was one of the leaders in the locker room as well, and his positive, fun-loving personality - not to mention his interesting tendency to start dancing whenever music he enjoyed came on - kept his teammates enjoying themselves.
Delmas was a key member of the Dolphins defense, even if it didn't always appear that way, and his recovery from his ACL injury is nothing short of miraculous. His teammates - cornerback Will Davis and left tackle Branden Albert - who suffered similar injuries before Delmas, have actually not yet been cleared to play. But somehow, Delmas has managed to come back after only five months of recovery.
"He is unbelievable," safety Jordan Kovacs said. "He's moving as well as I've ever seen him move, so that's very encouraging. But it's crazy."
Delmas and Jones made a very impressive duo when they were on the field together, and now it appears that duo is set to make a return this next season, and needless to say, Jones is excited about being able to play with his friend and teammate.
"I think we've got a good bond on and off the field," said Jones, "We talk a lot. He's one of my friends. I think  will be fun and interesting."
I had said from the very beginning that the Dolphins should bring Delmas back, I had said that he would be ready to go when the season began, but even I never expected for him to be back to full strength this quickly. It's a miracle, it truly is, so maybe, just maybe, Delmas will be able to help the team create a miracle of its own...maybe...a playoff berth?
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater
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