The Dolphins on Friday placed two players on injured reserve (Erik Ezukanma and River Cracraft) and ruled out a starter (Jaelan Phillips) for Sunday’s game at Buffalo.
Left tackle Terron Armstead said he will play Sunday but is listed as questionable.
Also listed as questionable: center Connor Williams (groin), running back Salvon Ahmed (groin) and safety DeShon Elliott (ankle, groin). All four of those players (including Armstead) were limited participants during Friday’s practice.
Phillips is out with an oblique injury. Liam Eichenberg likely would start at center if Williams isn’t healthy enough. Brandon Jones could start at safety if Elliott isn’t healthy enough.
Ezukanma is out indefinitely with a neck injury that Mike McDaniel said appears to be a re-aggravation of an injury that the second-year wide receiver had at Texas Tech well over a year ago. Cracraft is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury sustained in the Denver game.
Among all players on standard injured reserve or non-football injured reserve (like Ezukanma), eight are permitted to come off IR and play for their team in any specific season, as long as they miss four games. Jalen Ramsey, Jeff Wilson Jr., Robert Jones and perhaps Cracraft could be four of those eight for Miami. Ezukanma could be a fifth if he is cleared to return this season.
Also, cornerback Nick Needham is eligible to come off the physically unable to perform list next week if he is deemed ready to begin practicing following last October’s Achilles injury that has sidelined him since. After he starts practicing, he has a 21-day window during which he can return and play for Miami this season.
The Cracraft and Ezukanma roster moves leave two openings on the Dolphins’ 53-man roster.
The Dolphins might use those spots on receiver Robbie Chosen and edge player/special teams contributor Cameron Goode.
McDaniel praised how Chosen played against Denver. Chosen can be elevated twice more from the practice squad if the team doesn’t sign him to the 53-man roster.
“We started rotating him at the beginning of the game and he gave us no reason to take him out,” McDaniel said. “His playmaking ability is very intriguing to us.”
Meanwhile, the Bills will be without starting safety Jordan Poyer because of a knee injury.
THIS AND THAT
▪ With Raheem Mostert passing 500 career carries last Sunday against Denver, he’s now the NFL’s all-time leader in the Super Bowl era (post 1966) in yards per carry among players with at least 500 carries.
According to MB Fantasy Life, Mostert is at 5.42 per carry, followed by Bo Jackson (5.4), Jamaal Charles (5.38) and Nick Chubb (5.26).
▪ With Eli Apple losing his No. 3 cornerback job (at least last week), Kader Kohou played entirely on the boundary, instead of moving to the slot in nickel packages. Kohou had played only boundary in his life before the Dolphins used him some at nickel last season and some in the first two games this season.
Justin Bethel became the primary nickel corner and allowed only four yards in pass receptions (on two completions and two targets). Bethel has a good chance to keep that role on Sunday in Buffalo.
Kohou allowed 5 of 8 to be caught for 66 yards against Denver. Xavien Howard allowed 5 of 6 targets to be caught for 76 yards against the Broncos. Parry Nickerson, who played 13 snaps of pass coverage, wasn’t targeted.
“They did OK,” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said of Bethel and Nickerson. “First time Justin has had to play full time. Parry got some snaps when we went to six DBs. Late in game, when it was out of hand, [Nickerson] got to play some corner.”
Kohou, playing entirely as an outside cornerback, “played good this past week,” Fangio said.
Kelvin Joseph is the only healthy Dolphins corner who hasn’t played when a game was competitive this season.
▪ De’Von Achane’s 203 yards rushing on Sunday were the most by any NFL player (since 1970) in his first or second career game; Ottis Anderson,William Andrews, Darren McFadden, George Rogers are two through five on that list. Keep in mind that Anderson, Andrews and Rogers went on to be All Pros. McFadden had two 1000 yard seasons and averaged 4.2 yards per carry in a long career.
▪ Tua Tagovailoa, a left-hander, threw two touchdown passes - both shovel passes - with his right hand against Denver. But he said: “I don’t really practice throwing with my right hand. I never thought of it as throwing with my right hand for a touchdown pass for those two shovels. But it’s what it was, so that was cool. Two left and two right. Has it ever been done in the NFL?”
Tagovailoa throws footballs and baseballs and shoots basketballs with his left hand, but bats (in baseball) and writes with his right hand/arm.
“I don’t know if I’m a real lefty or a fake lefty, real righty,” he cracked.