It was three steps forward, one step back for the Dolphins’ ailing secondary Tuesday.
Corners Dimitri Patterson (groin), Jamar Taylor (hernia) and Will Davis (toe) all practiced after missing Sunday’s win over Indianapolis.
However, starting safety Chris Clemons was held out with an undisclosed issue. Clemons warmed up with the team before working with a trainer during the portion of practice open to the media.
Even though the Dolphins practiced Tuesday, league rules do not compel them to disclose injury information before Wednesday.
If Clemons cannot go, the Dolphins would likely insert Jimmy Wilson into the starting lineup after using him as their nickel corner against the Colts. The Dolphins surrendered 315 passing yards in the victory.
“We still had too many explosive passes,” coach Joe Philbin said. “There were some real good pictures of tight coverage and competitive throws that we knocked down. … [But] we’ve got a lot of work to do in that area.”
Signs continue to point to Paul Soliai missing Sunday’s home opener against Atlanta with a knee injury. Soliai wasn’t present for Tuesday’s practice.
When Soliai went out against the Colts, Randy Starks and Jared Odrick became the team’s base defensive tackles. There’s no reason to believe that would change going forward.
“We’ll see how the week unfolds,” Philbin said when asked about concerns over depth. “I’m confident we’ll have good defensive line depth on the field on Sunday.”
The Dolphins’ run defense, which has allowed 4.6 yards per carry this season, will catch a bit of a break, however. Falcons running back Steven Jackson is expected to miss two to four weeks with a quad injury.
ODDS AND ENDS
The Falcons placed linebacker Sean Weatherspoon on injured reserve with the designation to return after spraining his foot.
• There were several changes to the Dolphins’ practice squad Tuesday. They added defensive tackles Isaako Aaitui (who was in training camp with the team in 2012) and Al Lapuaho. They cut quarterback Austin Davis and corner Devin Smith to make room.
• Philbin, on the production of the punt-return team, which is averaging 2.3 yards per return: “It’s been OK. I don’t know how many great opportunities we’ve had, either. I’d say it’s been OK, nothing special.”
• Shortly after praising tight end Charles Clay’s versatility, Philbin was asked if Clay (who played some Wildcat in college) was the team’s emergency quarterback, should Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore get injured. His response: “In an emergency, you’ll find out.”