Miami Dolphins tight end Nick O'Leary, a Palm Beach County native who played collegiately at FSU, was able to check off a lot of firsts in his Miami tenure against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
First start. First catch. First touchdown.
It was a special day for O'Leary, one that saw him catch four passes for 49 yards and saw the Dolphins rally for a 31-28 overtime win.
It was also a special sight for retired golf phenom Jack Nicklaus, who was in attendance at Hard Rock Stadium to watch his grandson make an impact for the Dolphins right before his eyes.
"Dolphins win! @MiamiDolphins win in OT!..." Nicklaus, winner of 18 major golf championships, tweeted after the game. "And as a family footnote, my grandson @NickOleary35 caught his first pass as a Dolphin and his first TD! Way to go Nick! Way to go Fins!"
The Dolphins promoted O'Leary to the 53-man roster ahead of their road game against the Cincinnati Bengals last week to provide depth in a tight end room whose only healthy options were rookies Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe.
After playing in spurts against the Bengals, O'Leary got the full stating experience on Sunday in a game where it would have been tough to predict how the offense would fare with Ryan Tannehill sidelined with a shoulder injury.
O'Leary helped steady the pace early. He caught Brock Osweiler's first pass of the game, a short pass to the left side that he took for 14 yards. One drive later, with the Dolphins facing second and goal, O'Leary caught a short pass and ran into the right side of the end zone for a touchdown to open scoring.
"I think he does a good job with just both run, pass and pass protection and kind of what our game plan was," Dolphins coach Adam Gase said. "The tight end was not going to be involved as much and Mike (Gesicki) knew that going into the game and we probably thought we were going to go a little more two tight end personnel, but it didn't go that way. So we kept those other guys on the field and Nick was just able ... We were able to do a lot of, a lot of things with him in there."
This article is written by Jordan Mcpherson from Miami Herald and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.