Dolphins notebook

Joe Philbin switches Dolphins’ schedule as team now has Thursdays off

Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin is shown during the second quarter of the team's game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on Sept. 8, 2013.
Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin is shown during the second quarter of the team's game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on Sept. 8, 2013.
Joe Rimkus Jr. / Staff Photo

Off-day Thursdays are here to stay for the Dolphins — at least for the foreseeable future.

Coach Joe Philbin said he believes the team’s new schedule — Monday through Wednesday practice, rest day Thursday and then return Friday for final game preparations — gives his team the best chance to win on Sundays.

Traditionally, Dolphins players had Tuesdays off, returned Wednesday and built momentum throughout the week.

On such a schedule — used by most teams around the league — they did their heaviest hitting on Thursdays. But instead of putting on pads, Dolphins players will be taking a load off.

Philbin said he first thought about making the change late last season, when the Dolphins had a Thursday night game the week before Thanksgiving.

That gave them 10 days to prepare for their next game, and Thursday seemed like a good way to break up the workweek. Conveniently, it also gave the team the holiday off.

Such a schedule does have its drawbacks. Most notably, it could cost injured players a day of work. Anyone who gets injured in a game would be hard-pressed to practice just 48 hours later.

For example, cornerback Dimitri Patterson, left the game against the Browns with a groin issue. Patterson told reporters Sunday he plans to play against the Colts this Sunday, but was held out of practice Tuesday, working only with the trainers. Nolan Carroll took his place with the starters.

“No doubt about it, there’s definitely concern there,” Philbin said. “Had we gone to the game and [team trainer] Kevin O’Neill and our doctors said, ‘Joe, there are nine guys who are not going to be able to practice until Thursday or Friday,’ then you’ll probably have to give it some thought as to what’s the best way to prepare your team.”

Guard Richie Incognito seemed on board with the switch — for now.

“It’s an adjustment; I feel great right now,” Incognito said. “Definitely, later on in the season, coming in on Tuesday and Wednesday is going to be a grind.”


•  Jamar Taylor (hernia) and Pat Devlin (ankle) again sat out practice Tuesday after missing Sunday’s game with injuries.

The news was better for Will Davis. The rookie corner returned to the field for the first time in a few weeks after dealing with a an injury to his left big toe. Davis said he sustained the injury while planting his foot in the Tampa Bay preseason game, but seemed spry during individual drills Tuesday.

When asked if he would be surprised if he didn’t play against the Colts, Davis said: “I don’t know. It’s definitely in the plans of the coaches. I’m just taking it day by day. I trust them and the decisions they make.”

Despite grabbing his mending right shoulder in apparent pain Sunday afternoon, pass rusher Dion Jordan also practiced Tuesday.

• The Dolphins have added quarterback Austin Davis and corner Devin Smith to their practice squad, cutting De’Andre Presley and Al Lapuaho to make room.

• The Dolphins Special Teams will collect care packages for overseas troops Wednesday, the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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