The Miami Dolphins entered Friday with the status of their two opening safari games for Sunday against the Carolina Panthers in doubt. One is supposed to be ready to go through Friday’s practice, while the other will enter the suspect on Sunday.
Rookie Jevon Holland, who is working through knee and ankle injuries, improved to full participation in his practice workload on Friday after being limited in Wednesday and Thursday’s practice and is expected to play.
Second-year safety Brandon Jones, battling ankle and elbow ailments, was limited in all three sessions of the week and may have been decided by the timing of the game.
“We’re taking it day to day with both guys,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said ahead of Friday’s practice. “Both are doing everything they possibly can to get out there, and [Friday] Will tell you a lot.”
If Jones can’t play with Hollande, it will open things up for veteran Eric Rowe to start against Carolina. He has started twice, playing in every game so far. The Dolphins also signed veteran safety Will Parks from the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad this week.
Miami will be hard-pressed without Adam Shaheen on Sunday, as he missed a full week of practice with a knee injury. Rookie Hunter Long could be asked to step up to replace his snaps, with fellow tight ends Mike Gesickie and Durham Smyth.
Next up on the depth chart in the secondary, the Dolphins listed cornerbacks to Trill Williams and Eliza Campbell on Friday’s injury report. Flores noted that Williams injured his hamstring in Wednesday’s practice, knocking him out when he spoke before practice. Campbell missed three of the week’s practice sessions.
While linebacker Alandon Roberts (hip) and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (quadriceps) were limited through the first two drills of the week, after going through a full season on Friday, Hollande is expected to play against the Panthers.
Center Michael Deiter, still on injured reserve, went through a week’s worth of practice and may be approaching activation from IR.
“Deiter is making great progress. They’ve had a good few days,” Flores said. “We’ll see how it goes.”
The Panthers have listed right guard John Miller (ankle) as a suspect for Sunday’s play in Miami.
Lindsay on Floors
After the Dolphins claimed a former Pro Bowl run back Philip Lindsay from exemption from the Houston Texans on Wednesday, it seemed like the team would be slow to work him into the rotation.
“Philip is a man who has produced a lot in this league,” Flores said on Friday. “We are excited to have him on our team. All we have to do is get used to the way we work here. To get him better on the playbook, on the vocabulary, and as soon as possible. Prepare.”
Lindsay attended Thursday’s rehearsal with the Dolphins and was then seen in Friday’s practice in her new number 31 jersey.
“It’s safe to say that it’s difficult to prepare and play someone on a walkthrough and a practice,” Flores said, adding that it seems unlikely that Lindsay sees any significant action against the Panthers. “Philip pushes himself to give him a chance to do that. We’re going to try to get him to go as fast as possible, but it’s not going to be easy.”
Flores left open the idea of using different running backs in varying amounts depending on the opponent.
“Every week, the game plan may be different depending on who we are playing with,” he said. “I think they each have a different skill set. I think they can each help us in different ways. I think they are all selfless and want to help the team in every way possible.” Huh.”
A Chance for Igbinogen?
With the number of Dolphins’ injuries in the secondary, especially with cornerbacks Williams and Campbell already known to be out on Sunday, second-year cornerback Noah Igbinogen is likely to be active against the Panthers.
The 2020 first-round pick (number 30) has been a healthy inactive for six of Miami’s 11 games this season, and has dressed but hasn’t played in two others. Twice when Igbinoghin was inactive, Williams, an unfinished rookie, was active ahead of him.
“When you do get opportunities, make the most of them,” Dolphins defensive coordinator Josh Boyer said this week in a message that related to Igbinogene. “We’re so lucky to have good depth in that position. Just keep doing what he’s doing and keep working hard and keep improving. I think that’s what he’s doing and we encourage him to do that.” We do.”
Igbinoghen played in game three of his second NFL season with a start against the Jacksonville Jaguars, when both starting cornerbacks, Xavian Howard and Byron Jones, were out. He has four tackles in the season. Coaches praised his coverage for most of the game against Jacksonville in London, but he allowed two key receptions against Jaguars wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., one for a touchdown.
As many snaps as Igbinoghin could see, he would still be behind Howard, Jones, and fellow cornerback Nick Needham.