As a senior in high school, Randy Starks was considered one of the top prep basketball players in Maryland.
On Sunday, the Dolphins’ defensive tackle used some of those skills against the Bengals helping him earn the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Week award.
Starks snared his first interception of the season by leaping high off the line and grabbing an Andy Dalton pass in the third quarter. The Dolphins scored on Reggie Bush’s 13-yard run three plays later en route to a 17-13 victory. Starks also had three tackles and half a sack in the win.
According to the NFL, Starks is the first defensive tackle from Miami to win the award and the first Dolphins player to win the defensive award since Jason Taylor — whose name goes onto the team’s Honor Roll at halftime of Sunday’s game against St. Louis — in 2006.
“It means a lot. It feels real good, although it was better we got the win,” said Starks, whose four career interceptions ties him for the lead among all active defensive tackles.
“I knew I could always make plays, but as I’ve said before, I couldn’t do it without my teammates.”
Signed by Miami as a free agent in 2008, Starks has 164 tackles and 21 sacks since joining the Dolphins.
“We thought Randy had a great deal of potential,” said Rams coach Jeff Fisher, who coached Starks for four seasons in Tennessee. “We drafted him fairly high, and Randy did a nice job for us. He knows if he continued to work that he was going to be a good football player. ... I’m happy to see him playing so well.”
Running back Daniel Thomas didn’t participate in Wednesday’s practice after sustaining a concussion in the third quarter of Sunday’s game. Cornerback Richard Marshall (back) didn’t practice either after not playing against the Bengals.
Cornerback Nolan Carroll (Achilles tendon) was limited Wednesday.
This is the second concussion of the season for Thomas. He was also knocked out just before halftime of Miami’s loss at Houston in Week 1. With Thomas out, rookie Lamar Miller should see increased time behind Bush after not getting a carry in Cincinnati.
“The challenge, again, is for us to be in shape because there are less guys out there,” Bush said of Miller. “We have to be mentally prepared for reps we’re going to take. There will be more reps for me and Lamar. We have to be focused on the fundamental things. Lamar is doing a great job, and I have a lot of confidence in him.’’
• Count Fisher as another believer in rookie Ryan Tannehill. On Wednesday, the Rams coach had nothing but good things to say about the Dolphins quarterback who will make his sixth career start Sunday.
“I’m just very, very impressed,” Fisher said. "He’s got tremendous poise. He throws with accuracy, he’s not making mistakes and he’s doing a great job in that offense. It’s high tempo, making decisions, changing plays on the line of scrimmage and it’s very evident he’s very comfortable with the offense.
“[Offensive coordinator Mike] Sherman and him, the two of them are on the same page, and there’s a great future ahead of him, he was a fine pick for the Dolphins.’’
Tannehill, who has thrown for 1,269 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions, has downplayed the praise.
• The Dolphins signed linebacker Josh Kaddu off their practice squad to get to the 53-man roster limit. Kaddu was waived by the Dolphins out of training camp on Sept. 1. Defensive end Louis Nzegwu was added to the practice squad.