Fortunately, the cornerback will probably not miss that much action, as coach Mike McDaniel recently revealed that while the timeline of Smith’s return may be “a little gray,” it’s not expected to be a long-term issue.
Mike McDaniel: Cam Smith (shoulder) doesn't appear to have a long-term injury. "The timeline is a little gray but it's not long-term at all."
— Hal Habib (@gunnerhal) August 13, 2023
The University of South Carolina product had a solid performance for the Dolphins on Friday, finishing the evening with four total tackles (three solo), one tackle for loss and one pass defended. He showed flashes of his potential, particularly in the areas of athleticism and instincts.
Dolphins second-round rookie Cam Smith doing what he does best 👀 pic.twitter.com/9J8eNiVxJ9
— Ian Valentino (@NFLDraftStudy) August 12, 2023
In addition, the 22-year-old helped Miami limit Atlanta to just six points through three quarters before the Falcons ran away with 13 more points in the final period. Miami’s offense left a lot to be desired, as it scored just three points. That may be understandable, though, as the squad sat out plenty of key players.
More importantly for Smith, being sidelined for any amount of time will keep him from getting key reps in.
He has seemingly been trying to earn a starting role for the Dolphins in the nickel package, especially with Jalen Ramsey on the shelf. The injury to Smith certainly won’t help the cause.
If he misses the rest of the preseason, he may start the regular season with a reserve role, especially given the recent addition of Eli Apple. Noah Igbinoghene, a former first-round pick, also appears to be waiting in the wings to stiffen the competition for Smith.
The Dolphins are looking to bolster their defense this season after bleeding a lot of points in the 2022 campaign, which saw them give up 23.5 points per game. The organization is likely hoping that its injured players can recover quickly to provide the defense with more bodies and weapons when the games start to matter.