Cornerback Jamar Taylor plans to return this season from a separated shoulder, but the only question is how soon.
Tests revealed there was no structural damage in Taylor’s shoulder, and a friend said Taylor hopes to return quickly and was talking about trying to play Monday night against the Jets. But it remains to be seen whether the Dolphins will allow that. They could opt to be cautious and keep him sidelined a week or two.
Because of the injury, Taylor played only 49 of the Dolphins’ 75 defensive snaps Sunday. In his place, Lowell Rose, who was in the Arena League last year, logged 13 plays and rookie Walt Aikens nine.
“When you’re putting people in for the first time, it’s a tough spot,” defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said. “I don’t think that was in any way the reason we didn’t perform well late in the game. But it is a challenge for us as we move forward. Hopefully, we’ll get some guys back.”
Cornerback Cortland Finnegan missed the Denver game with an ankle injury, and his status for the Jets game is undetermined.
▪ Left tackle Ja’Wuan James, who played just 22 of Miami’s 62 offensive snaps because of a stinger, said he could have returned to Sunday’s game, but coaches were concerned the injury might limit him.
The Dolphins have a top-10 quarterback, at least according to the league’s signature statistic measuring that position.
Among quarterbacks currently on 53-man rosters, Ryan Tannehill ranks 10th with a 93.4 rating, trailing only Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Drew Brees and Kyle Orton. (Carson Palmer, on injured reserve, also is higher.)
I like the way his demeanor is,” offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said. “I feel like he’s gained some calm in the pocket, and he is a fierce competitor. I have a lot of confidence he’s only going to get better.”
Lazor did not blame Tannehill for his throw on the tipped ball that resulted in the late-game interception.
“He’s done the same thing to that same guy [Jarvis Landry] many times, and it has worked out,” Lazor said. But “that kind of game where you are going blow for blow, there’s a low margin of error. We have to find a way to avoid those mistakes.”
▪ The Dolphins split snaps at left guard, with Daryn Colledge playing 36 and Shelley Smith 26. Lazor said that was done because Colledge was returning from injury and “we wanted to reward” Smith for his strong play.
▪ LaMichael James, making his Dolphins debut, played four snaps and carried twice (for 4 yards). Coach Joe Philbin said James played because coaches “saw some good things” in practice.
▪ Philbin said the Dolphins used defensive end Dion Jordan once at tight end — the Broncos called time out before the play was run — because we’re “trying to use everybody we can to score points. … It was something we’ve been working on.”
▪ Philbin said the odd-looking and unsuccessful onside kick — in which Caleb Sturgis contorted his body and kicked in the opposite direction than expected — worked in practice. “We’ve been practicing that type of kick for a year and a half,” Philbin said.