Running back Daniel Thomas is out indefinitely with an ankle injury, and his status for the final five games of the season is very much in doubt.
The Dolphins will decide in the next week or two whether to place him on season-ending injured reserve.
Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said Monday that Thomas is “out of the picture” and that third- and fourth-string tailbacks Marcus Thigpen and Mike Gillislee have “to step up.”
Sherman said the same applies to Lamar Miller, who mustered just 8 yards on 10 carries in Sunday’s game against Carolina.
Thomas, who has 279 yards rushing on 3.6 per carry, has been the Dolphins’ primary short-yardage back and has played 35.2 percent of the team’s offensive snaps.• The Dolphins released defensive tackle Isaako Aaitui on Monday but might re-sign him to the practice squad if he clears waivers. Signing a running back to fill the roster spot would be an option.
Smith to start
Jets coach Rex Ryan said quarterback Geno Smith, a Miramar High graduate, will start against the Dolphins, even though he has five interceptions and a 16.2 passer rating in his past two games and has thrown one touchdown and 10 picks in his past six.
Ryan said he wants to review tape of the Dolphins before deciding whether backup quarterback Matt Simms would get any first-team reps in practice this week.
This and that• Sherman said the Dolphins’ final pass, a deep ball that glanced off Mike Wallace’s hands at the 1-yard line “was a great pass” by Ryan Tannehill.
“It would have been a great catch if he had made that,” Sherman said.• Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle blamed himself for his call on the 29-yard reception by Brandon LaFell that set up a Carolina field goal late in the first half.
Coyle said because of Cam Newton’s strong arm, he suspected the Panthers might take a shot at the end zone.
“We were playing for him to throw the ball deep, and it was my mistake,” he said. “It wasn’t the players in any way, shape or form.”
Carolina originally had the ball on its own 48-yard line, but a penalty pushed it back to the 43.
“I should have changed the call after the penalty and he was back a little further,” Coyle said.• Coyle said cornerback Nolan Carroll’s performance Sunday, including an interception, was his best since Coyle became defensive coordinator to start the 2012 season. “He contested throws all day, had his hands on four passes,” Coyle said.
• On tight end Greg Olsen’s 1-yard catch to win the game with 43 seconds left, Coyle said: “I felt strongly they were going to run the ball. We weren’t in a good position to cover the tight end.”
• Ted Wells, who is investigating Jonathan Martin’s allegations of bullying, plans to meet with Martin for a second interview sometime soon.
Meanwhile, ProFootballTalk.com reported that Wells also plans to interview Rams and former Dolphins offensive lineman Jake Long.
Sherman said he will have “plenty to say” about the investigation when it is completed. Asked about his interview with Wells, Coyle said: “I’m happy to talk to anybody because I think coach [ Joe] Philbinand we do things better than most people in any sport.”