Sports Outside the Beltway

Kyle Turley Attempts Comeback as Tight End

Johnathan Turley wants to get back into the NFL so badly that he’s trying to change positions, at age 30, after a two year layoff. Len Pasquarelli reports,

Former standout offensive tackle Kyle Turley, who hasn’t been in a game since a 2003 playoff loss because of severe back problems, is attempting to revive his career at the Miami Dolphins’ mini-camp this weekend.

As a tight end.

Turley, 30, is an unsigned veteran invitee to the three-day camp, which began on Friday and is principally for rookies. His participation in the camp, which also includes veteran free agent linebacker Barrett Green and undrafted Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick, was first reported by the South Florida Sun Sentinel and subsequently confirmed through team officials.

Weighing about 40 to 50 pounds less than the 309 pounds at which he played right offensive tackle for six seasons with the New Orleans Saints and St. Louis Rams, and trying to adapt to a new position, Turley is definitely a long shot to earn a contract for training camp. But the former first-round draft choice, who missed only one regular-season game before his back woes sidelined him for more than two years, is determined to get back into the league. It’s believed that the tryout with the Dolphins, whose tight end depth chart is a bit unsettled behind starter Randy McMichael, is the first audition that Turley has had.

I wish him luck. The NFL is a brutal business, though, and the tight end position has moved in the direction of athletes who can do it all–block, catch, and run. I can’t see a converted offensive lineman do that.

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