A six-pack of Dolphins notes on a Tuesday evening:
• NFL teams can bring back only one player off injured reserve during the course of a season. And the Dolphins, with no other realistic options, made their expected choice today: defensive tackle Earl Mitchell.
By practicing today on the first day he was eligible to do so, Mitchell becomes Miami’s designated player to return off injured reserve.
Mitchell, who has been sidelined with a calf injury, is eligible to play for the first time this season when Miami meets San Diego on Nov. 13 in California.
The Dolphins’ other players on injured reserve are safety Reshad Jones (rotator cuff) and linebacker Koa Misi (neck). Neither was expected to be able to return this season, making Mitchell the obvious choice to return off IR.
Mitchell’s work was limited today.
“We just tried to get him going,” coach Adam Gase said. “I mean, I don’t remember the last time he practiced. You don’t throw him out there and say, ‘Hey, take every rep at practice.’”
• After using a lot of no-huddle early in the season, the Dolphins changed their philosophy the last two weeks. And because it paid dividends – Miami scored 30 against Pittsburgh and 28 against Buffalo – that approach will continue.
“We still have the ability to go no-huddle, but we’ve been in the huddle a bit more the past two weeks, and we’ve had success, so we’ll probably stick with it,” Ryan Tannehill said.
• Tannehill has absorbed more sacks and physical punishment than any other NFL quarterback since he entered the league in 2012, and remarkably, hasn’t missed a full game due to injury.
So Tannehill is certifiably giddy about his pass protection over the past two weeks (one sack total).
“I feel great,” he said. “My body feels really good right now.”
I asked Tannehill if he believes this group of five starters is the best offensive line he’s ever played behind.
“I think so,” he said. “I have a ton of confidence in our offensive line. I think we’ve seen what they can do the past two weeks – both in the run and pass protection. When those guys are rolling and set the tone early, it really opens up whatever we want to do. We’ve seen Jay (Ajayi) have a ton of success. We’ve seen the pass game be more efficient, not taking a sack. When those guys are playing well, it really helps us go.”
• Besides playing every snap on defense in the Bills game, safety Michael Thomas also had a significant role on special teams, where has great value.
The Dolphins want to be cautious about that, but Thomas said he has the stamina to continue to do both.
“I can handle it,” he said. “I didn’t feel winded.”
• The Dolphins worked out two players today: former Dolphins running back Jonas Gray (31 carries for 122 yards and a 3.9 average in six games for Miami last season) and former Rams seventh-rounder Martin Efedi, a defensive end who spent training camp with Tampa Bay.
• Receiver Jakeem Grant said it “was kind of funny” hearing a bunch of Bills players yell “watch No. 19” when he entered the game and ran a fake reverse on the Damien Williams touchdown run.
“They thought I was going to get the jet sweep,” he said. “That’s why I came in, to be a decoy.”
He said when he does he get the ball on one of those plays, “it will be very exciting.”
So how did Grant do when he got reverses at Texas Tech? He ran the ball 33 times in college for 199 yards, two touchdowns and a six-yard average.
For my Tuesday post on cornerback Chris Culliver, who says he is ready to return, please click here.
For my Tuesday post on UM’s search for an elite running back, please click here.
And please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz