As if things weren’t bad enough already, the winless Miami Dolphins had the added misfortune of being involved in a minor accident as their plane prepared to leave Dallas early Thursday morning.
The Dolphins were headed home following a disappointing 30-13 loss to the Cowboys that left them winless in the preseason when the grounds crew at Dallas-Forth International clipped another parked jet while backing the team charter out for takeoff.
Nobody was hurt, but the entire team consisting of about 70 players, coaches and support personnel was forced to de-plane while another ride was found for them.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says both American Airlines jets were damaged, and that the incident is under investigation. The mishap happened in a non-operational area where American provides charter service.
The Dolphins didn’t return to South Florida until about 7:30 a.m. today, some four hours later than originally expected.
Players obviously frustrated with all of the evening’s happenings to Twitter to express their displeasure.
“Been up 24 hours. SMH,” linebacker Gary Guyton wrote.
“Eight-hour ordeal .. What a day #4 thumbsdown,” linebacker Cameron Wake wrote.
Quarterback Matt Moore was even more succinct, writing, “Longest trip ever!”
The end of the evening was a microcosm of the Dolphins’ struggles as a whole. The loss to Dallas was just the franchise’s third winless preseason ever. Miami’s struggling offense managed just four touchdowns in the preseason.
Fortunately, players have today off, although 22 of them could be rudely awaken by a dreaded phone call sometime today, telling them they had been cut. Per NFL rules, the Dolphins have until 9 p.m. tomorrow to pare their final roster down from 75 to the 53-man limit. Some of those cuts may happen as soon as today.
The Dolphins open the regular season at Houston on Sept. 9.