Tony McDaniel has practiced both days this week and is expected to play Sunday, an encouraging turnaround just weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on a troublesome knee injury.
McDaniel missed much of camp with various ailments, including an injured knee that he hurt again in the opener against Houston. He hasn’t played since.
The Dolphins brought in two stop-gap defensive tackles in the interim – first Ryan Baker, then Andre Fluellen. Both are now gone, indicating the team has confidence McDaniel is ready to return.
“We’re anxious to see him,” said Dolphins coach Joe Philbin. “He looks like he’s moving well and we’ll see if he continues to progress during the course of the week.”
Shortly after the Texans game, it became clear McDaniel needed surgery. He had the knee scoped in Alabama by famed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. McDaniel was soon thereafter back on his feet, and has worked his way back since. Although he has been limited in practice both days, McDaniel, says he feels “awesome.”
“I feel so good, that I don’t even need a brace or anything,” McDaniel said. “Dr. Andrews did an awesome job.”
BENGALS RUNNING GAME ALSO THREAT
The Bengals’ passing attack is all the rage, but Dolphins defenders know they can’t forget about Cincinnati’s ground game and its featured back, who is a familiar face.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis joined the Bengals in the offseason after four years in New England. He leads the team with 286 rushing yards on 3.5 yards per carry.
Green-Ellis hasn’t had much success against the Dolphins in his career, averaging just 32 yards per game in seven all-time meetings.
Still, he has the attention of Miami’s defense, particularly linebacker Kevin Burnett, who practiced on a limited Thursday basis after missing all of Wednesday with a foot injury.
“They’re not looking for home runs every other play,” Burnett said. “They want a guy who can go knock out six, eight yards a carry. That’s really all you need in this league today.”
The Dolphins have the league’s best run defense, surrendering a stingy 56.8 yards per game and 2.4 yards per carry. Burnett has played a big part in that, ranking second on the team with 26 tackles.
MARSHALL MIGHT SIT
Richard Marshall (back) missed all of practice Thursday for a second straight day, and there’s a growing likelihood the Dolphins will hold him out of the Bengals game to let the injury heal.
It is not believed the injury is serious, but it has been pesky for Marshall, who played through it in Arizona last Sunday.
The news was better for fellow corner Nolan Carroll on Thursday. He worked on a limited basis after missing the entire practice a day before.
Reggie Bush’s hip injury, meanwhile, does not appear serious. He participated fully in Thursday’s session.
• General manager Jeff Ireland let local reporters in on a secret from his high school days Thursday: He was on the debate team growing up in Abilene, Texas.