Miami Dolphins: NFL

Here are the most interesting Miami Dolphins stories Tuesday from around the Web:
  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes the Dolphins are not counting on suspended defensive players Dion Jordan and Reshad Jones this week.
Morning take: It’s possible that both Jordan and Jones could return soon with the revised drug policy by the NFL and NFLPA. But until that happens, there is no need to make either player part of the game plan.
  • Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel writes Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor shoulders blame for their 10-point performance against the Buffalo Bills.
Morning take: Lazor got most of the credit in Week 1 and took the blame in Week 2. That's life as an offensive coordinator. Let’s see what Lazor has in store for Week 3.
  • Alain Poupart of the Dolphins team site writes about the re-signing of running back Daniel Thomas.
Morning take: The Dolphins cut Thomas before the regular season but brought him back after Knowshon Moreno’s elbow injury. Thomas knows the offense well and shouldn’t have much of a learning curve.
  • Greg Stoda of the Palm Beach Post writes the Dolphins shouldn’t trust quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Morning take: Tannehill hasn’t had a fast start to Year 3. We will have more on Tannehill later on Tuesday.

James Walker chat preview

August, 27, 2013
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.

Five Miami Dolphins on the bubble

August, 23, 2013
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 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.