AFC East: AFC East

Geno Smith and Matt RyanUSA TODAY SportsGeno Smith's Jets and Matt Ryan's Falcons will try to bounce back from a disappointing Week 4.
If the Atlanta Falcons were in desperation mode last week against the Patriots, now they're in an all-out panic as they prepare to face the New York Jets on ESPN's "Monday Night Football."

The Falcons limp into the matchup at 1-3 despite being touted as a Super Bowl favorite. Quarterback Matt Ryan admitted not being as sharp as he wanted to be the last time out. Now, Ryan has to keep the locker room together as the Falcons try to stay afloat against the always-entertaining Rex Ryan and his Jets (2-2).

ESPN.com Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure and his Jets counterpart, Rich Cimini, discuss the matchup.

McClure: I was talking to Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux the other day about the mindset when facing a rookie quarterback. He admitted Geno Smith was somewhat similar to Carolina's Cam Newton, a player the Falcons have had trouble containing. Can Smith cause problems for the Falcons or is his confidence shaken?

Cimini: Smith and Newton are different because Smith isn't nearly as dangerous as Newton in terms of making plays outside the pocket. He'll scramble on occasion, and they might call a read-option play here and there, but he's a pure pocket passer. I'd say, yes, his confidence has to be shaken. He's coming off a bad day against the Titans -- four turnovers, bringing his total to 11. He's making bad decisions and being careless with the football. Ryan said he's not considering a change at quarterback -- with Mark Sanchez out, there's no viable option -- but there will come a point where he'll have to do something if the turnovers continue. What's up with Matt Ryan? This hasn't been a vintage Ryan season so far.

McClure: No, not by any means. And fans around here are starting to turn on him, for some reason. I understand their passion, but I wouldn't give up on Ryan. I actually give him credit for owning up to his mistakes against the Patriots. He threw a few bad passes on the Falcons' last desperation drive and missed Roddy White wide open for at least a first down on a fourth-and-2 from the Patriots' 7-yard line. Ryan ranks 23rd in the NFL in fourth-quarter passing with a 75.3 QB rating. Maybe he's rushing his throws as a result of protection issues. It doesn't help when your receivers drop a handful of passes, either. At least Ryan seems to have established a rhythm with tight end Tony Gonzalez. So, how will the Jets approach defending Gonzalez based on his 149-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Patriots?

Cimini: I think Rex Ryan is asking himself that same question, Vaughn. He joked about Gonzalez this week, saying, "Quite honestly, I wish he would've retired." The Jets have done a good job defending tight ends, but they haven't faced anyone close to his caliber. I think a lot of the responsibility will fall to second-year safety Antonio Allen, but that would be trouble waiting to happen. Allen is a "box" safety, not known for his coverage skills. In years past, Ryan put cornerback Antonio Cromartie on athletic tight ends for a few plays here and there, but he needs Cromartie on Julio Jones or Roddy White. In other words, I could see Gonzalez having another monster game. A lot will depend on how they defend the running game. What's the latest on Steven Jackson?

McClure: Although Jackson was on the field Tuesday talking with the trainers, he still hasn't practiced since suffering a hamstring injury in the first quarter of the Rams game (Week 2). It was initially called a three-week injury and with the bye following the Jets game, I see no reason why the Falcons would rush Jackson back out there Monday night. In fact, Jackson recently went on his personal blog to update fans on his status and said he wanted to be 100 percent before returning. Not being on the field with his teammates might be hurting him more than the pain from the injury. I see the Jets are banged up at receiver. How will they compensate?

Cimini: You're right, they're banged up. Santonio Holmes (hamstring) won't play, and I'd be stunned if Stephen Hill (concussion) plays. So we're talking about Jeremy Kerley and Clyde Gates as the starting wideouts, with seldom-used rookie Ryan Spadola as the No. 3 and David Nelson (signed Tuesday) as the No. 4. This is the definition of "patchwork." They can compensate by leaning more on the running game, which has been reasonably effective. Bilal Powell is tied for the AFC lead with 292 rushing yards. I think you'll also see more two-tight end sets with Kellen Winslow and Jeff Cumberland. Ryan said he might install the wishbone. He was joking -- I think. What's wrong with the Falcons' defense? I see they've been giving up some big pass plays.

McClure: Yes, they've given up seven plays of 40-plus yards, including four Sunday. Against the Patriots, the Falcons actually allowed Tom Brady to convert a third-and-19 from his 12 because they failed to get the proper depth on their drops. Such mental errors seem inexcusable, but defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is doing some "patchwork" of his own without Kroy Biermann (Achilles) or Sean Weatherspoon (foot) available and with Asante Samuel (thigh) still ailing. Three rookies -- cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Robert Alford as well as linebacker Joplo Bartu -- are being asked to come of age rather quickly. And the pass rush has been pretty much non-existent even with the addition of Osi Umenyiora, who leads the way with two sacks. Speaking of the rush, what type of pressure will the Jets bring at Matt Ryan?

Cimini: The Jets aren't the defense we thought they'd be. By that, I mean they're blitzing less than expected, and the reason is because they've been getting good pressure from their front three/four. In fact, they've sent five or more rushers on only 33.1 percent of the opponents' dropbacks, which ranks 17th in the league. With Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples and rookie Sheldon Richardson up front, I think they'll be able to pressure Ryan without having to dial up exotic blitzes. Rex Ryan's defense has evolved. When he had Darrelle Revis, the secondary was the strength of the unit, but now the strength is up front with the big boys. The Falcons can counter by running an up-tempo offense with quick throws -- that style causes problems for the Jets. Frankly, it blows my mind the Falcons, with all that skill-position talent, are struggling in the red zone. Most Jets would be happy with one of those weapons, let alone three. What's the deal?

McClure: Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and Matt Ryan are trying to figure that out as we speak. The Falcons managed only one touchdown in six red-zone trips against the Patriots. For the season, they rank 29th in the league in terms of red-zone efficiency. Koetter took the blame for some bad play calls and vowed to cut one or two plays out of game plan. The fact that White has recovered slowly from a high ankle sprain hasn't helped. And the blocking has been abysmal, at times, in goal-line situations. Once everyone gets healthy, I expect more production and high-scoring games for the Falcons. If Monday night becomes a shootout, can the Jets compete?

Cimini: They're a pass-oriented offense under Marty Mornhinweg, but it would be hard for them to win a shootout, especially on the road. I know the Falcons have their own issues on defense, so I think the Jets can score points on them. But Smith is too mistake-prone, and the receiving corps is too banged-up for me to think they can walk into Atlanta and outscore the Falcons. Their best chance is to shorten the game, playing ball control with Powell and the running game. I'd be surprised if the Jets win a game in the 30s.

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The Miami Dolphins lost one of their top practice-squad candidates Sunday to an AFC East rival. The New England Patriots claimed former Dolphins defensive lineman A.J. Francis off the waiver wire, according to Francis’ Twitter account.

Francis was an up-and-coming defensive lineman for Miami, which had a lot of depth at the position. The Dolphins released both Francis and Kheeston Randall. It shouldn’t take long for Randall to also find work.

New England, the reigning AFC East champs, is looking for big bodies and more youth up front on defense. The Dolphins were the last team to announce their roster cuts, but that still didn’t stop a division rival from poaching at least one player.

What to Watch: Saints-Dolphins

August, 29, 2013
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MIAMI – The Miami Dolphins will play their fifth and final preseason game Thursday against the visiting New Orleans Saints.

Here are three things to watch for the Dolphins:

1. Players on the bubble: Miami must make 25 roster cuts by Saturday evening to get down to the 53-man limit. Several key players to watch are defensive tackle A.J. Francis, third-string quarterback Pat Devlin and receivers Marvin McNutt and Chad Bumphis. Look for the bottom portion of the roster to get plenty of playing time. Shameless plug alert: I will do my roster projection Friday after the final preseason game.

2. Progression of tight ends: It was not a strong outing for Miami’s tight ends following the season-ending knee injury to starting tight end Dustin Keller. The Dolphins got just three catches and 34 yards from the position. New starter Charles Clay had just one reception for five yards -- though he was targeted six times by starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. This will be an important game for Miami’s tight ends to get reps in preparation for the regular season, even if Tannehill isn’t on the field. Let's see what more Clay, Michael Egnew, Kyle Miller and Dion Sims can do.

3. No injuries: To be blunt, there isn’t much for teams to gain in this final preseason game. The most important thing for the Dolphins is to exit without significant injuries. The real games start in about 10 days, when the Dolphins travel to face the Cleveland Browns. Miami head coach Joe Philbin has been coy about playing time for his starters. Some may play briefly, while others might not play at all. This is a game for backups and fringe players.
MIAMI -- The Miami Dolphins are entering their fifth and final game of the preseason Thursday against the New Orleans Saints. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin has been coy about playing time for the starters, but the most important question surrounds Miami's quarterback.

SportsNation

Should Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill play in the preseason finale?

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Discuss (Total votes: 3,420)

Should the Dolphins play Ryan Tannehill this week? The second-year quarterback has four preseason games under his belt. But Tannehill is still a young player who needs reps.

Miami will travel to play the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 8. If Tannehill sits, that could lead to rust before the first regular-season game. Should Tannehill play at least a couple of series?

Or is the injury risk too much for Tannehill? We've seen quarterback injuries already this year in the AFC East to Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets and Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel of the Buffalo Bills. Are the Dolphins better off playing it safe this week with Tannehill?

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on whether or not Tannehill should suit up and play Thursday night against New Orleans. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.

James Walker chat preview

August, 27, 2013
8/27/13
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The regular season is right around the corner. Let’s chat about it at 4 p.m. ET.

We can also talk roster cuts and whatever else is on your mind with the Miami Dolphins and the rest of the AFC East. There are plenty of injuries and issues to discuss.

Here is the link. Don't miss the party.
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins took part in a full-padded practice Tuesday in preparation for Thursday's preseason finale against the New Orleans Saints.

Here are several notes from Miami's practice:
  • Tuesday marked a significant day of progress for Miami No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan. He dressed in full pads and participated in drills for the first time since re-injuring his shoulder against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 9. Jordan has been doing rehab assignments and taking things slow with trainers for the past few weeks. The primary goal is to get Jordan ready for Week 1, and he took one step closer to that goal on Tuesday.
  • Dolphins rookie cornerback Will Davis missed his second straight practice and appears unlikely to play against the Saints. The team hasn’t clarified Davis’ injury, but he appeared to have suffered a leg injury in last weekend’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Miami's depth at cornerback is not strong after Davis’ injury and recently cutting veteran Richard Marshall.
  • Miami is using backup quarterback Pat Devlin with the second-string offense this week. This probably means Devlin is on the bubble, and the coaching staff wants to see what he can do with a better supporting cast. Devlin is the third quarterback behind Ryan Tannehill and veteran Matt Moore. The Dolphins must decide if they want to keep three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster this week or use that spot to boost another position. Look for Devlin to get a lot of playing time in Thursday's preseason finale.
  • The Dolphins did not make their cuts before Tuesday’s practice. Miami has until 4 p.m. ET to trim its roster down to 75 players. We will post the full list when the Dolphins make their first round of cuts this afternoon.

Dolphins film review: John Jerry

August, 27, 2013
8/27/13
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MIAMI -- The Miami Dolphins completed their fourth game of the preseason in a 17-16 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But this was the season debut for projected starting right guard John Jerry.

This week we highlight Jerry in our Dolphins’ film review.

First series
  • Jerry does a nice job one-on-one versus Spence, who tries to bull-rush. Tannehill completes a first-down pass to receiver Mike Wallace. (+1 point)
  • Jerry pulls to the right and gets a textbook block on Tampa’s linebacker to help spring Dolphins tailback Lamar Miller to a 20-yard gain. (+1 point)
  • Jerry plows forward and pushes the pile for Miller to gain four yards up the middle. (+1 point)
  • Jerry does a good job pass protecting against Spence during a completed pass to Wallace. (+1 point)
  • Jerry holds his block but Tampa’s defensive line gets penetration elsewhere and forces Miller to redirect for a short gain. (even)
  • Jerry has an easy assignment to set up a screen for a second or two to backup tailback Daniel Thomas. (even)
  • Pouncey and Jerry double Tampa’s defensive tackle on a check-down pass to Thomas. (even)
  • Dolphins run a draw up the middle for 5-yard gain and Jerry gets a good push. (+1 point)
  • Jerry attempts to pull to the left but fails to get to the spot in time. His assignment, Spence, beats him inside and gets a tackle for loss. (-1 point)
  • Tannehill completes a quick slant to receiver Brian Hartline on fourth down. Jerry barely engages. (even)
  • On first down, Jerry has trouble pulling to his left again as various Buccaneers defenders get in to tackle Miller for a loss. (-1 point)
  • The Buccaneers run a stunt on the right side and Jerry has trouble picking it up. He loses his footing and Tannehill takes a shot on a pass to Miller. (-1 point)
  • Jerry struggles with a swim move by Spence, who runs right by him. Tannehill takes another shot on an incompletion. Luckily, Tampa Bay was called for illegal contact. (-1 point)
  • Jerry does a nice seal block as Miller runs behind him for a short gain. (+1 point)
  • On another short gain by Miller, Jerry fails to find someone to block on the next level. (-1 point)
  • Spence hits Jerry with a swim move again to get inside. Tannehill has to get the ball out quickly. (-1 point)
Second series
  • On a quick sweep out to Thomas, Jerry attempts a seal block for a short gain. (even)
  • Spence does a bull-rush and shed Jerry to get a post-pass hit on Tannehill. Jerry is struggling with holding his initial blocks. (-1 point)
  • Jerry and Pouncey double Spence in the middle during an incompletion from Tannehill. (even)
  • On the final play of the first quarter, Spence beats Jerry inside again to make a tackle on Thomas. Jerry is pulled for Josh Samuda after the play. (-1 point)
Final grade: -2 points

Overview: Jerry started fast but clearly ran out of steam in his first game action this season. It makes sense why the Dolphins pulled Jerry after the first quarter. We saw some good things. Jerry pulled to his right well on Miller’s best run of the night. His early pass protection was solid. But Jerry tailed off and Spence began having his way with him. You wonder if Jerry still needs time to get into football shape. Jerry and the Dolphins have two more weeks of preparation before the start of the regular season.
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins took the practice field for the first time this week in preparation for Thursday's preseason finale against the New Orleans Saints. But there was one conspicuous absence that caught my eye.

Dolphins rookie cornerback Will Davis was not present Monday during the early portion of practice open to the media. Although there has been no official word from the team, Davis appeared to have injured his leg in Saturday's preseason loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Miami is already hurting with cornerback depth after recently releasing veteran Richard Marshall. Davis is one of the young corners expected to step up, along with fellow rookie Jamar Taylor and Nolan Carroll. Both Carroll and Taylor practiced Monday.

Here are some other quick injury notes from Miami's practice:
  • No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan dressed but only rehabbed his shoulder during the portion of practice open to the media. Jordan is not expected to play Thursday against the Saints. But Miami is trying to get him ready for the regular-season opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 8.
  • Miami backup offensive lineman Nate Garner is improving and participated in team drills for the first time since injuring his shoulder. Garner lined up as the second-team left tackle during the early part of team drills.
  • Fellow offensive tackle Jeff Adams did not practice Monday, and wore a sleeve on his left leg.
MIAMI -- The Miami Dolphins completed their fourth preseason game Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This was the important “dress rehearsal” game for Miami, and now it’s time to make two series of roster cuts this week.

The first cut to 75 players will happen on Tuesday. Here are several players for Miami who may get released within the next 24 hours:

1. QB Aaron Corp: The Dolphins have already released Corp once. But they brought him back after third-string quarterback Pat Devlin suffered a hand injury in the preseason. Devlin is recovered now and played in Saturday’s preseason game. Therefore, there’s no more purpose to keep a fourth quarterback around much longer to take away reps in practice and the preseason. Corp did not play in Saturday’s preseason game, which is an indication he could be on the outs very soon.

2. WR Jeff Fuller: The Dolphins have invested a decent amount of time in Fuller. He had a stint on the practice squad last year, and Miami’s coaches were hoping more time in the system would pay off for the receiver. But the light hasn’t come on for Fuller, who was a college teammate of Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Fuller hasn’t done much in camp or the preseason. It’s time for Miami to focus more on other young, developmental receivers like Brian Tyms and Keenan Davis.

3. CB De'Andre Presley: Miami’s cornerback position has been an interesting spot. First, it was one of the team's deepest areas. Then, an injury to rookie second-round pick Jamar Taylor and a roster cut of potential starter Richard Marshall forced others to step up. Presley has not been one of those players. He’s struggled in coverage and most likely won't make the team.

4. OT Andrew McDonald: To describe it in one word, Miami’s backup offensive line has been horrific in the preseason. Dolphins quarterbacks Matt Moore and Devlin have been running for their lives, which further proves Miami's lack of depth up front. McDonald has been one of several struggling offensive linemen. He allowed another sack on Devlin Saturday against the Buccaneers. It’s time to start releasing some of these linemen who won’t make the team.

5. G Chris Barker: Similar to McDonald, Barker is another Miami backup offensive lineman who failed to show much in training camp and the preseason. The past two games were golden opportunities for someone to step up in the trenches. But instead, Miami’s second- and third-string offensives lines continue to get manhandled.

Five Miami Dolphins on the bubble

August, 23, 2013
8/23/13
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MIAMI – The Miami Dolphins will play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday night in the "dress rehearsal" game for both teams. The first round of cuts to 75 will be next Tuesday, and the final cut to 53 players is coming on Aug. 31.

This is a huge game for Miami's players who are on the verge of making the team or getting released. Here are five players who need a good performance Saturday night:

1. RB Jonas Gray

Analysis: It’s not often that a team keeps four running backs. But Gray is doing everything he can to make that a tough decision for Miami. Gray has been solid in training camp and preseason games. He even carved out a potential role as a short-yardage and goal-line option for the Dolphins this preseason, which he's done well. Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas are locks for the 53-man roster. Mike Gillislee also is a draft pick, so he also sticks. Gray is fighting a number's game, and needs to prove Saturday why it is worth keeping an extra tailback.

2. DT A.J. Francis

Analysis: Perhaps no Dolphins backup has come on stronger in the past week or 10 days than Francis. The light has come on for the raw defensive lineman. Francis put together two good weeks of practice, and had an impressive preseason game last Saturday against the Houston Texans. The problem is that the defensive line is the deepest area of the team. My latest Miami roster projection has nine defensive linemen, and Francis didn’t make the cut. Ideally, the Dolphins would like to keep Francis on the practice squad. But that would risk Miami losing him to another team. Saturday is a good chance for Francis to show why he deserves to be on a 53-man roster -- whether it is Miami's or someone else's roster.

3. Guard Lance Louis

Analysis: Louis has been in a rough spot in training camp. The four-year veteran is coming off ACL surgery. He missed valuable practice time, but also needed to come back early enough to show what he can do before roster cuts. Louis has plenty of starting experience, but he's still rusty and probably not 100 percent. Louis was my last offensive lineman to make the cut. Much of that was because other offensive linemen are injured. This is a big game for Louis to validate his standing.

4. WR Marvin McNutt

Analysis: McNutt is in a neck-and-neck roster battle with fellow receiver Chad Bumphis. McNutt started training camp fast, then Bumphis took the lead, but lately McNutt is back to making more plays in practice. McNutt also has the size Miami's coaching staff covets. He just needs to work on his consistency. Bumphis is a slot receiver who doesn't offer much versatility. But this battle is still up for grabs, and could come down to the final two preseason games.

5. FB Jorvorskie Lane

Analysis: Lane, last year’s starting fullback, has really seen his stock drop in training camp and the preseason. Miami's coaching staff has moved in the direction of versatility and position-flexibility on offense. Therefore, players like Charles Clay and Evan Rodriguez are getting more reps ahead of Lane, who is a pure fullback. If roster cuts were today, I would expect Rodriguez to get the nod over Lane. Rodriguez is a better athlete, receiver and can play special teams. Lane's chances are dwindling fast. He has two more preseason games to try to earn a roster spot.
MIAMI -- The Miami Dolphins made early roster cuts before their fourth preseason game Saturday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Miami released guard Jeff Braun, guard Chandler Burden, defensive tackle Chris Burnette, linebacker Alonzo Highsmith, and receiver Kenny Stafford, the team announced.

None of these players had a legit shot to earn a spot on Miami’s roster. The Dolphins will have to cut down to 75 players next Tuesday. The final cut will be on Aug. 31, when Miami must cut down to its final 53-man roster for the regular season.

Dolphins report: Dion Jordan update

August, 22, 2013
8/22/13
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DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins continued to prepare for Saturday’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Here are some notes from Thursday’s practice:
  • Miami No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan met with the media for the first time in about two weeks. Jordan re-aggravated his shoulder injury in Miami’s second preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jordan had shoulder surgery in February and said he doesn’t have a timeline to return. When asked about Week 1 of the regular season, Jordan also said he wasn't sure if he'd be ready by then. "It's my body so I know when I'm ready to go or when I'm not ready to go," Jordan explained. "It wouldn't be a surprise [if I'm not ready]."
  • Dolphins offensive lineman Nate Garner made his first appearance in practice this week. He also has a shoulder injury and rehabbed on the side. Garner missed practice all week and is unlikely to play Saturday against the Buccaneers. But the fact that he’s rehabbing with the team shows progress.
  • Miami projected starting guard John Jerry (knee) is expected to make his preseason debut this weekend. He's practiced all week and needs to work off the rust after missing a majority of training camp. “It’s always good to have [reps]; I don’t care how many years you’ve played football,” Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said. “It’s good to get some game snaps under your belt before the [regular] season starts.”
  • Miami defensive tackle Randy Starks (knee) practiced Thursday and hasn’t missed a day this week. Starks is expected to make his preseason debut Saturday and will rotate with fellow defensive tackles Paul Soliai and Jared Odrick.
  • Dolphins backup safety Jordan Kovacs worked on the side with trainers with what appears to be a leg injury. Kovacs has not practiced all week and also is unlikely to play. Kovacs is on the bubble to make the Dolphins and may need to get healthy fast. Miami backup offensive lineman Will Yeatman also missed practice again on Thursday.

The Dolphins will have a walkthrough on Friday that is closed to the media. Miami will play Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET against the Buccaneers.

Richie Incognito: 'We've moved on'

August, 22, 2013
8/22/13
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DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins starting guard Richie Incognito met with the media for the first time since a report surfaced involving an incident that took place this summer at a South Beach nightclub.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday that Incognito got into an altercation and punched a security guard. But the Miami Beach police report has no mention of Incognito throwing a punch.

Incognito briefly made a statement about the incident Thursday but wanted to focus on football.

“You know, I’m not going to touch it,” Incognito said after Thursday's practice. “We’ve addressed it as a team. We’ve addressed it with me and we’ve moved on. We’re focused on Tampa Bay right now.”

Incognito said he addressed the incident with the team “right after it went down,” which was on June 10, according to the police report. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin also briefly touched on the issue.

“As I’ve said many times, I’m concerned at all times that players represent the organization the right way on and off the field,” Philbin said. “At the present time, my entire focus is on Tampa Bay and getting our football team ready to play the 2013 NFL season.”

Incognito has made headlines twice this week. In addition to this report, Houston Texans defensive tackle Antonio Smith ripped Incognito’s helmet off and swung it at him last weekend. That caused Smith to get suspended for the final two preseason games and Houston’s regular-season opener.
MIAMI -- The Miami Dolphins will hold their final practice of the week that's open to the media Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Miami will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium.

Here are three things to look forward to with the Dolphins on Thursday:
  • The biggest story Thursday involves starting guard Richie Incognito and his incident at a South Beach nightclub earlier this summer. The reported details have been murky. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Incognito punched and knocked out a security guard. However, the Miami Beach police report has no mention of Incognito throwing a punch and says Incognito told police he was attempting to break up the fight. Incognito will have a chance to meet with the media after practice and tell his side of the story.
  • I'm also curious to see if Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill finishes the practice week strong. Tannehill hasn’t been consistent this week and threw picks in his last two practices. On Wednesday he threw a pair of interceptions to rookie cornerback Will Davis and backup linebacker Lee Robinson. Last week Tannehill had his best practices of the summer and it resulted in a quality preseason performance against the Houston Texans. As with most young quarterbacks, consistency is the key, and Tannehill has been up and down all week.
  • This is another important day for Miami projected starting guard John Jerry to get up to speed. Jerry has been full-go in practice for the first time since injuring his knee earlier this month. Barring any setbacks, it appears Jerry will make his preseason debut on Saturday. Jerry is working with the starters and gradually improving. His movement was better on Wednesday than it was earlier in the week. The goal is to get Jerry enough work to be prepared for Miami’s regular-season opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 8.

I will be live at Dolphins practice Thursday to provide all the latest developments mentioned above and more. There will be a full report this afternoon in the AFC East blog. But if you cannot wait that long, simply follow me on Twitter for up-to-second updates and observations from Dolphins practice.
Richie Incognito was on one side of an incident this past weekend, when Houston Texans defensive lineman Antonio Smith ripped off his helmet and swung it at the Miami Dolphins guard. Smith, as a result, was suspended for the final two preseason games and the regular-season opener.

Now, it appears Incognito may be on the other side of an ugly incident. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Incognito was involved in an altercation at a South Beach nightclub where he punched and knocked out a security guard. Schefter also reports the Fontainebleau hotel has footage but is unwilling to turn it over. One source told Schefter that Incognito was punched and provoked first.

The Dolphins simply have to hope for the best with this one. For now, details are murky, although videotape evidence would clear up a lot of things.

Incognito is a team leader and one of Miami’s best offensive lineman. He could face league discipline if all the details of this report are accurate. It’s also possible nothing could become of it. The Miami Beach police report, for example, has no mention of Incognito throwing a punch and says Incognito told police he was trying to breakup the incident. It’s going to be a wait-and-see situation for the Dolphins in the coming days.

Miami has little depth on its offensive line, and it would be a serious blow if Incognito is forced to miss time. Fellow guard John Jerry recently suffered a knee injury and sent Miami’s offensive line scrambling. Losing Incognito would have the Dolphins scrambling even more.

Regardless of the outcome, this has been a bad week for the Dolphins. First, they lost their starting tight end (Dustin Keller) for the season after a controversial hit to the knee. Now Incognito is in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

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