Barring a late change of plans, Brice McCain is expected to start at cornerback for the Miami Dolphins on Sunday against the Redskins, multiple sources have told the Miami Herald.
McCain, who signed with the Dolphins in the offseason, is believed to have won the last remaining position battle on the team. He was competing with Jamar Taylor, but McCain likely pulled ahead when Taylor sustained a quadriceps injury midway through the preseason.
Taylor missed two weeks of practice and the final two preseason games; he returned to practice Monday.
McCain is listed ahead of Taylor on the team’s first official depth chart of the season, and although the chart is certainly not binding, it supports what the Miami Herald has heard independently.
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McCain was among the league’s top slot cornerbacks in football last year, so when the Dolphins go to their nickel package, there’s a good chance he will slide inside and Taylor will work the boundary.
McCain has started 19 games in his six-year NFL career, recording eight interceptions and breaking up 39 passes.
Three other changes of note on the Dolphins’ Week 1 depth chart:
The team lists Jamil Douglas as the starting right guard (instead of Billy Turner), Kenny Stills as a starting receiver (instead of Rishard Matthews) and LaMike James as the team’s featured kickoff and punt returner (instead of Jarvis Landry).
Douglas had moved ahead of Turner after the third preseason game, and has apparently kept his place atop the depth chart.
Stills’ ascent is a bit more surprising. He was limited by a calf injury early in camp and caught only three passes for 31 yards in the preseason. Matthews started over Stills in the third preseason game; he likely falls to the fourth receiving option (or fifth, depending on DeVante Parker’s health).
Landry, meanwhile, did not field a punt or kick in the preseason. Once James made the 53-man roster, most assumed it would be as a returner.
The Dolphins view Landry as one of their top targets this fall, so perhaps they do not want to put him at risk on special teams.
Walt Aikens will start at safety as expected, replacing Louis Delmas, who is out for the season.