Add Randy Starks to the Dolphins’ robust list of ailing defensive players.
Starks sat out practice Wednesday with a toe injury, wearing a protective boot on his left foot as he went through conditioning exercises.
However, the injury — assuming he doesn’t suffer a setback — does not appear significant enough to keep him out of Sunday’s game against the Bills, the Miami Herald has learned. Starks has not missed a game since joining the team in 2008, and the belief is that streak will continue Sunday.
Should Starks be at all limited, expect an increased role for undrafted rookie Anthony Johnson, who played 18 snaps in the opener and recovered a fumble.
“Really since he’s gotten here, he’s kind of flashed, so to speak,” said Dolphins coach Joe Philbin. “He did so in the offseason program and the OTAs. He displayed really good quickness and get-off. And then I thought, in the preseason and training camp and the preseason games, he had good production. He’s still learning an awful lot.”
With Starks’ issue, that makes four projected defensive starters already injured — and two other significant contributors ( Reshad Jones and Dion Jordan) are serving NFL suspensions.
Linebacker Koa Misi again couldn’t practice Wednesday, but with an ominous twist: his injured ankle was in a cast, and not a boot. Chris McCain is ill and has been kept away from Dolphins camp the last two days. Rookie Jordan Tripp (chest) has already been declared out of Sunday’s game.
Between injury and suspension, the Dolphins on Wednesday were without players who combined for 453 tackles last year, including 26 for loss.
Elsewhere on the Dolphins’ lengthy injury report:• Like Tripp, C Mike Pouncey (hip) and DE Terrence Fede (knee) were both listed as out. G Billy Turner (foot) again did not practice Wednesday.
• Seven Dolphins players were limited in their participation Wednesday: S Walt Aikens (hand), TE Charles Clay (knee), RB Knowshon Moreno (shoulder), DE Derrick Shelby (knee), TE Dion Sims (neck), WR Mike Wallace (hamstring) and LB Philip Wheeler (thumb).
Wake earns defensive honor
Defensive end Cameron Wake has been named the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Week — and Tom Brady probably has no quarrels with it.
Wake sacked Brady twice in Sunday’s 33-20 victory Sunday against the Patriots, both causing fumbles that Miami recovered. Wake is the first Dolphin named a player of the week in the season opener since linebacker Zach Thomas in 2001. It was the second Defensive Player of the Week award for Wake in his six-year NFL career.
When asked if it was nice to be recognized, Wake replied: “It is, but I really feel like, you look at the way the game went, it’s not really an individual kind of thing, the way the team played. You come into halftime and we’re down two scores, it took everybody on the field to pull us out of that hole. That award could really be spread around the locker room.”
Lazor’s demands are welcomed
New offensive coordinator Bill Lazor doesn’t let the little stuff slide. He constantly demands better, even after the Dolphins scored 33 points against the Patriots Sunday.
That’s just fine with his quarterback.
“He’s real,” Ryan Tannehill said. “I can appreciate real. I see the film for what it is, too. I’m not crazy with myself like, ‘Oh, that was a good throw.’ If it’s a bad throw, I realize it’s a bad throw. I don’t see ghosts on the field. To have another coach there calling it as it is, I think it’s a good thing.”
Denney: Finish new drug policy
Dolphins player rep John Denney says there’s an urgency to get a new drug policy ironed out with the league, even after the union tabled a vote on the measure Tuesday.
“We’re at the start of another season and they just don’t want to drag it out,” Denney said. “We want to get it done as soon as possible.”