Some Wednesday afternoon Dolphins notes:
• Left tackle Branden Albert and left guard Laremy Tunsil -- two key cogs in the Dolphins’ offensive line – returned to practice, at least on a limited basis, on Wednesday, and the Dolphins remain hopeful that they will be able to play Sunday at Baltimore.
“It looks better for us than it did last week; last week we never had either one of those two guys be able to take a real rep in practice,” coach Adam Gase said. “BA didn't even suit up for individual [work]. Just getting those two guys out there, it gives us an opportunity that we could have some guys back. But still, it's Wednesday. We've just kind of see how our process goes.”
Albert said he no longer feels discomfort in his surgically repaired wrist. “We’ll see how I feel by Sunday,” he said. “It is going to be a challenge but I have to do what I have to do to help this team.”
Tunsil, meanwhile, is working his way back from a back injury.
But center Mike Pouncey remains unable to practice because of a hip injury and is expected to miss his third game in a row on Sunday. And veteran right guard Jermon Bushrod was limited Wednesday with a calf injury.
As for receiver DeVante Parker, he didn’t participate in practice Wednesday because of a back injury that sidelined him during much of the second half against San Francisco. The Dolphins do not believe it’s serious but aren’t sure he will play Sunday.
As a result, former University of Miami receiver Rashawn Scott was promoted from the practice squad, per sources. He impressed the team in preseason after catching 91 passes for 1247 yards in his career at UM.
He fills the roster spot created by the release of defensive tackle Leon Orr, who was arrested on a marijuana charge on Tuesday.
“He's stiff right now,” Gase said of Parker. “We've just got to see if he can loosen up a little bit. As we go through the week, we'll see if he gets better. Obviously, we would not put him out there if we did not feel like he could contribute or be effective. It has to be a little bit on him.
“We could say one thing, 'We think you should go.' But at the end of the day, he has to be of the right mindset. He has to feel like he can be effective in the way he wants to be. That's kind of be our checklist. Obviously, he's going to have a say in this. If somebody says, 'Ah, it's probably a good idea to not play him this week, we're going to listen to that.' We'll do the right thing, make the right decision.”
Asked if this is a test of Parker playing through pain, Gase said: “I would say he's already passed that test for me. Just seeing what he's done, especially the last three weeks, I'm sure he's been banged up a little bit and hasn't really said anything and gone out there and he's probably practiced more than anybody. He's been able to take more reps in the last three weeks and he's really developed a good routine for himself to get ready for Sunday.”
Besides Parker and Pouncey, three other Dolphins did not practice: linebacker Jelani Jenkins (knee/hand), defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (back) and running back Kenyan Drake (knee). Drake said he expects to be available to play Sunday.
“Jelani, obviously he's got like nine things on the injury report,” Gase said. “We're just trying to be smart with him. We're trying to get him a little more healthy than what he was. He went out there and he sold out and he did everything he could. But when you're playing with your hands casted up, your knee messed up, it's hard to move. And then you're playing the team we were playing, between the quarterback and the running back, you had some shifty guys out there. It's hard to change direction.
“Drake is a little more of a precautionary thing for us. He's been grinding pretty hard. Earl, he battled so hard in the game, we probably just need a little more time before we put him back out at practice.”
• Gase said there’s “absolutely a chance” that cornerback Xavien Howard could play Sunday. He has missed seven games after knee surgery but practiced on a limited basis Wednesday.
• Good line by safety Bacarri Rambo, who explained his ability to learn the defense quickly by citing his hat size.
“Big brain,” he said. “I absorb information.”
Rambo, who has been a pleasant surprise considering he was unemployed six weeks ago, said: “I want to prove to everybody they should have given me a chance, show they made a huge mistake by not signing me. The Dolphins gave me a chance and I’m grateful for that.”
• Whereas some commentators wince when they see Ryan Tannehill run and take hits – because of the possibility of injury --- Tannehill likes having that element in the Dolphins attack. The Dolphins used Tannehill on read-option plays more than they had all year against San Francisco, and he had six carries for 34 yards.
“It's a weapon for us,” he said. “It opens up some things in the run game, keeps them accountable on the back side, keeps them honest up front where they have to stay in their run lanes. It could help in the play action game. Obviously, we have to be smart and not put yourself in harms way too much and leave yourself out there for potential injury.”
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