This week’s joint practices between the Dolphins and Carolina Panthers will test the NFL’s “no-fighting” edict.
In the wake of New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith’s broken jaw and the melee during a Texans-Redskins practice, the league has in recent days reminded teams that fighting is prohibited.
Expect Dolphins coach Joe Philbin and Panthers coach Ron Rivera to enforce the rule Wednesday and Thursday. The practices, which will be held at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, will not have any live tackling. But Philbin acknowledged Sunday that “some heated moments” are inevitable.
“But Ron and I talked in the spring, he’ll be on one field, I’ll be on the other,” Philbin said. “I told him, he sees one of our guys out of line, I’m going to tell the team Coach Rivera is in charge of that field, and he said the same thing to me, if I see someone out of line on the field I’m on.”
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When asked his view of practice fights (there have been at least two in Dolphins camp this summer), Philbin said:
“They’re all different, they all happen for different reasons,” Philbin said. “The thing you worry about as a coach is someone getting hurt, unnecessarily. There is enough risk involved going out there every day on the practice field, and to do that doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
Kenny Stills remained sidelined by a pesky calf injury, but Philbin said Sunday that he’s not concerned that Stills’ issue will linger beyond the next couple of weeks.
“I’m optimistic and hopeful that sooner as opposed to later he’s going to get out there and start practicing,” Philbin said.
Stills was one of five Dolphins players who didn’t practice because of injury Sunday. The others were Koa Misi (calf), Will Davis (knee), Christion Jones (hamstring) and Jordan Tripp (ankle).
There were some encouraging signs for Tripp, who sustained what appeared to be a significant injury in Thursday night’s preseason game. He stood on the sidelines for Sunday’s practice without crutches or a walking boot.
Agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents free agent guard Evan Mathis, was back at camp Sunday, but the Dolphins appear content to head north this week with the guards on roster.
A person familiar with Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey’s thinking believes the team is talented enough at the position to go into the season without adding Mathis.
That could change, of course, if the Panthers expose the guards in practice or next Saturday’s game.
THIS AND THAT
▪ The Dolphins waived tackle Chris Martin. Martin, who had been working at right tackle, was dealing with a back injury that kept him out of practice Saturday.
▪ A rare morning thunderstorm forced the Dolphins inside for the second half of Sunday’s practice. It was the first time this camp that weather affected the team’s plans.
▪ Undrafted rookies Zack Vigil and Mike Hull got first-team repetitions at linebacker Sunday. Vigil said this of his sack in Thursday’s preseason opener: “It was pretty exciting, although I will say it was kind of a cheap sack, but I’ll take it. It was an awesome experience.”
▪ Receiver Greg Jennings caught two red-zone touchdowns from Ryan Tannehill.
▪ Tannehill hosted 17 American High School students from his mentoring program at training camp.