The Miami Dolphins didn’t go full-pads on the Tuesday following their preseason loss to the Chicago Bears. Instead, head coach Brian Flores held a walkthrough.
Wide receivers DeVante Parker, Will Fuller, and Albert Wilson were not expected to participate and did not. All are dealing with injuries, and Flores expects them to have “limited” participation (if that) in their joint practice tomorrow with their upcoming preseason opponent— the Atlanta Falcons.
Flores did say the receivers were “getting closer” to returning. But the head coach’s strategy for players returning from injury is to “ease them back” so they do not suffer a setback.
Allen Hurns has been placed on IR due to a wrist injury that requires surgery and will keep him out for an estimated 3 months.
Preston Williams is still on the PUP list.
Other players who did not practice include offensive lineman Jesse Davis, LB Vince Biegel, WR Isaiah Ford, CB’s Jaytlin Askew, Javaris Davis, and TE/HB Cethan Carter (knee).
Davis, whose wife just had a baby, had an excused absence. Flores preached family and was held to that.
With Davis not attending practice, 2nd-rounder Liam Eichenberg was back at right tackle, with Solomon Kindley continuing to rise from the ashes to fill in at left guard.
Safety Brandon Jones was back at practice but with limited participation. He is recovering from an ankle injury.
Flores touched on the running back group. It seems the Dolphins will continue to utilize a typical New England-style approach and use a variation of all three running backs during game-day. The team believes Myles Gaskin is a 3-down back; Salvin Ahmed, the change-of-pace back and likely candidate to backup Gaskin should be he be injured; and the heavier Malcolm Brown as the situational bruiser for short-yardage. However, Brown’s poundage and physicality didn’t seem to play a difference last Saturday when Miami tried to punch it in from the Bears’ goal-line for a score.
But Flores wants to be careful with his workload. 2021 first-rounder— linebacker Jaelan Phillips— returned to practiced. Phillips didn’t play against the Chicago Bears last Saturday. He was seen lining up at the defensive end today.
Linebacker Vince Beigel did not participate in Tuesday’s practice. Beigel is dealing with a leg injury. Flores insisted that it is not the same leg that suffered the Achilles injury that held Beigel out in 2020.
Before their joint practice against the Atlanta Falcons, it seems like the Dolphins defense is experimenting with a package that includes multiple defensive backs (this could be their dime package)—perhaps, to counter the Falcons’ explosive potential on the offensive side. After all, Matt Ryan is now throwing to a rising star in Calvin Ridley and a monster of a talent in rookie Kyle Pitts.
This package seemed to include boundary corners Xavien Howard and Byron Jones and a mixture of other DB’s in the middle and backend, including Jevon Holland, Jason McCourty, Justin Coleman, Nik Needham, and Eric Rowe.
The Dolphins have been using a mixture of these defensive backs in and out during training camp. But this package seemed to require taking off linebackers while substituting in more secondary players.
After practice, Flores made the entire team line up along the 100 and run sprints from sideline to sideline.