There’s growing belief within the Miami Dolphins locker room that Jimmy Wilson will sit out Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears – complicating an already daunting task of handling Chicago’s dangerous set of receivers.
Wilson hasn’t practiced this week with a hamstring injury, and likely won’t play Sunday. He started at safety the first four weeks of the season, and played nickel corner against the Packers when Reshad Jones returned from suspension.
Should Wilson miss Sunday’s game, the Dolphins have a number of options. Jamar Taylor could become the first corner off the bench; he has apparently passed Will Davis on the depth chart, based on recent game usage.
Or, the Dolphins could use Michael Thomas in what would be a three-safety alignment.
Asked if Davis or Taylor have distanced themselves in the battle for top reserve, coach Joe Philbin replied:
“I think it has been comparable. I think that’s probably the best way to describe it. They have both certainly shown improvements from a year ago. There’s a lot of football left to be played. I anticipate them getting better throughout the course of the year, but it’s not a real huge difference right now.”
VERNON CONTINUES TO EXCEL
Defensive end Olivier Vernon has made a strong early case that his breakout 2013 was no fluke.
Vernon is tied for the team lead with 3.5 sacks (he’s on pace for 11) and also has six quarterback hits and eight hurries.
“He continues to get better,” Philbin said. “He played well as a rookie with the opportunities that he had. He certainly had more production last year. I thought he played one of his better games of the year last week. The sacks obviously you can count and see, but, I think I’ve said before his pursuit, his ability to hold the point, his gap and run-blocking is a big part of the defense. I think he’s playing well this year.”
Vernon’s continued presence has helped offset the impact of Dion Jordan’s six-game suspension. Jordan, who sought treatment after apparently failing multiple NFL-administered drug tests, is scheduled to return to the team next week.
▪ Former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer told 104.3 The Ticket’s Eric Reed Show that he remains a believer in Ryan Tannehill.
“He’s supremely talented; that’s without question,” Dilfer said. “My only concern is does he have the ‘over my dead body’ mentality. ... Does he have enough [jerk] in him?”
▪ Tannehill's ankle injury appears to be no big deal. After missing parts of Wednesday’s practice, he worked without limitation Thursday.
Three other Dolphins showed similar improvement: John Denney (knee), Shelley Smith (knee) and Philip Wheeler (shoulder/thumb).
Starting running back Lamar Miller remains hampered by a knee injury, but practiced on a limited basis Thursday.