- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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DAVIE, Fla. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Miami Dolphins training camp:
The Dolphins returned to the practice field for the first time since their 16-10 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Sunday’s practice was mainly centered on special teams, form tackling and fundamentals. Miami particularly struggled with tackling in its first preseason outing. “We had a little bit of extra time, we got an eight-day week,” Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said. “So I felt this was an opportunity to take advantage of it.”
Miami running back Knowshon Moreno showed some progress Sunday. After coming off the physically unable to perform list last week, Moreno started with only individual drills. But Moreno did some competitive work in one-on-one passing drills and made several sharp cuts on his knee, which was recently operated on. Moreno also made some nice catches in drills. It is unknown when Moreno will return, but he’s making strides.
The Dolphins have narrowed their field on punt returns. Wide receivers Marcus Thigpen, Jarvis Landry and Damian Williams were the three players fielding punts Sunday in practice. Miami has an interesting decision to make. Landry had a 48-yard punt return and appears capable of handling that position. “I just made one cut, got vertical and made a play,” Landry said. “I can’t say thank you to coach [Darren] Rizzi enough for giving me a chance and giving me an opportunity to really do it after not having too much film of doing it.” If the Dolphins can find a kick returner, Thigpen’s spot could be in jeopardy. Thigpen has been Miami’s primary kick returner the past two seasons.
On the injury front, Dolphins defensive lineman A.J. Francis will miss multiple practices with a knee injury. Rookie running back Damien Williams also was sidelined after getting carted off the field Friday. But he did some jogging in practice, which is promising. Fellow running back Mike Gillislee also didn’t finish practice. Miami cornerback Cortland Finnegan also was not present but indicated on social media that he had a death in the family.
The Dolphins will return to the practice field Monday at 8 a.m. ET for practice No. 13. Miami is preparing for Saturday’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.