The Dolphins’ 2014 draft class, its first under general manager Dennis Hickey, sustained its first roster casualty on Monday. Tight end Arthur Lynch was released before ever playing a snap in a regular-season game.
Lynch, selected in the fifth round (125th overall), spent his rookie season on injured reserve because of a back injury sustained after the NFL Draft. Known as a functional blocker at Georgia, Lynch never developed as a downfield receiving threat. Coach Joe Philbin said Lynch is a “great guy” but wasn’t considered one of Miami’s top five tight ends.
His departure leaves Gerell Robinson, Jake Stoneburner and Tim Semisch competing for the third tight end job behind Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims. Miami ultimately might consider waiver wire options for that roster slot.
Philbin was noncommittal about whether Miami will even keep three tight ends. “We have to keep the 53 best guys that will help us win regardless of how many tight ends that ends up being,” he said.
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To fill Lynch’s roster spot, the Dolphins signed former Texas El Paso linebacker James Davidson, who appeared in two games as a rookie for the Giants last season.
MORE FOR ALBERT
For the first time during training camp, left tackle Branden Albert took a handful of snaps in 11-on-11 drills as he works his way back from major knee surgery last November. The Dolphins have expressed optimism that he should be ready for start of the regular season.
▪ With Dallas Thomas continuing to work with the starters at left guard, the Dolphins gave rookie Jamil Douglas some snaps as the first-team right guard, though Billy Turner took the majority of those right guard snaps with the starters. Douglas opened camp competing with Thomas at left guard.
“One of the things for young linemen,” Philbin said, “is you want to challenge them to a certain degree to see what they’re capable of handling.”
▪ Linebackers Koa Misi (calf) and Jordan Tripp (ankle) missed practice. Tripp, who was off crutches, said he has no idea when he will be able to play.
▪ Philbin said Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera called him months ago and suggested the joint practices that the teams will hold at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, before playing Saturday night in Charlotte, North Carolina.
This marks the first joint training camp practices in Philbin’s four years as coach.
“I’m on a subcommittee with Ron; I think he’s a really good coach, a good person,” Philbin said. “We spoke on the phone. We met in Indianapolis. We met again at the league meeting and talked some things over. It just fits perfectly, schematically on both sides of the ball.”
Philbin cited another incentive to do this: “As I’ve told the team, we’ve got to get used to winning on the road. That’s going to be a key to our season. We’ve got seven out of nine games away from Sun Life Stadium to start the season.”
Ryan Tannehill said “it’s going to be a game-like atmosphere every day in practice up there. Competition’s going to be high.”
▪ Tannehill said the Dolphins intend to “consistently continue” to “use my legs in the run game with the zone-read.”
▪ Tannehill said “we would like to get” Cameron “the ball probably a little bit more than he’s getting it. In the red zone, he’s definitely going to be a threat for us all year.”
▪ Terrence Fede had two more sacks at Monday’s practice, the final one open to the public at the team’s Davie facility this year. … Caleb Sturgis hit field goals from 41, 46 and 51 yards but missed from 47. … Philbin said McLeod Bethel Thompson and Josh Freeman are aware their work Thursday against Chicago was “not acceptable quarterback play.” Both had 21.9 passer ratings in that game.