- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Miami Dolphins made their first set of roster cuts Tuesday afternoon to get their roster down to 75 players. However, the hardest cut is Saturday when the Dolphins must cut 22 more to get to 53 players.
Here are three key players who are on the roster bubble this week:
Position: Running back
Analysis: Thomas has underachieved since being a second-round pick in 2011. A primary reason he lasted three seasons in Miami was due to his lofty draft status and connection to former general manager Jeff Ireland. But Thomas doesn’t have those ties to new general manager Dennis Hickey. Thomas must produce and that hasn’t been the case this summer. Thomas’ hamstring injury sidelined him most of training camp and all of the preseason. Thomas plans to play Thursday and this could be his final chance to impress Miami’s new front office. Rookie running backs Damien Williams and Orleans Darkwa have played well in Thomas’ absence.
Position: Kick returner, receiver
Analysis: Thigpen is a curious case for Miami. He’s been, by far, the Dolphins’ best option returning kicks the past two years. However, Thigpen doesn’t offer the Dolphins much beyond special teams. Thigpen started as a running back and was moved to a full-time receiver last season. But Thigpen hasn’t done much there, either. Miami is exploring other options returning kicks, such as receivers Jarvis Landry and Damian Williams. If the Dolphins feel comfortable with a replacement, Thigpen’s days could be numbered.
3. Don Jones
Position: Defensive back
Analysis: Jones presents another curious decision for Miami. Similar to Thigpen, Jones’ strength is on special teams. But Jones doesn’t offer much else. The Dolphins have tried Jones at safety and cornerback this summer in training camp and the preseason. Jones still has a lot to learn before he can make an impact at either position. Jones remains one of the team’s best gunners. But is that enough to keep him on the 53-man roster?