The Dolphins’ 111-game regular-season streak of avoiding TV blackouts will survive another week.
Granted a 24-hour extension by the NFL, the Dolphins sold the 51,000 tickets required to lift the blackout for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
Under a new NFL rule, the Dolphins must sell only 85 percent of non-premium seats for the game to be televised. The team said “good tickets” remain for the game.
The Dolphins said neither the team nor sponsors needed to purchase tickets to lift the blackout.
The Dolphins have not guaranteed that every game will be on local TV, and home games against the Rams, Seahawks, Jaguars, Titans and Bills could be at risk.
The Dolphins listed Tony McDaniel (knee) as out and Marlon Moore (hamstring) as doubtful for Sunday’s game. Nine players were listed as probable: Anthony Armstrong, Kevin Burnett, Jonathan Freeny, Richard Marshall, Lamar Miller, Koa Misi, Jared Odrick, Daniel Thomas and Jimmy Wilson. … The Jets listed linebacker Bryan Thomas and fullback John Conner as out, and tight end Dustin Keller as questionable. Cornerback Darrelle Revis (concussion) is probable.
Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith called Yeremiah Bell this week to check up on his friend and former teammate. But one topic was off limits, Smith said: Sunday’s game.
Bell spent eight years with the Dolphins before joining the Jets in the off-season. “He’s missed, the knowledge you get from him,” Smith said. “He was the ultimate pro.”
The Dolphins cut Bell in March believing he had lost a step and confident that Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons were ready for larger roles.
Jones and Clemons have been solid so far, with the linebackers and cornerbacks mostly responsible for breakdowns in pass coverage.
Bell is starting and has allowed four of the five passes thrown against him to be completed, for 80 yards, according to Pro Football Focus.
“It’s going to be fun,” Bell told New York reporters. “I’m not putting any extra incentive on it or anything like that. It’s a division game we definitely need to win. I’m still friends with a lot of guys. We’ll have our laughs before the game, but only before. When the game starts, there are no friends.”
Jones and Clemons said Bell taught them “how to be a pro.” Smith said Bell’s departure essentially forced Miami’s young safeties to grow up.
“We’re not dependent on one guy anymore” to make all the calls, Smith said. “We always looked at Y.B. ‘What are you doing now?’ We depended on him for everything. Reshad and Chris have made a big jump, being more vocal.”
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He identified “our ability to run the football and stop the run” as Miami’s biggest strengths.