While the Dolphins are optimistic about the left side of their offensive line being back in tact on Sunday in Baltimore, they’re not counting on having receiver DeVante Parker, who remains limited with a back injury.
During the part of practice open to reporters on Friday, Parker rode a stationary bicycle and then ran around the perimeter of the practice field.
Adam Gase stopped short of ruling him out Sunday, but said: “We'll be smart as far as what we'll do. He might even tell me I'm ready to go and I might say no. He’s really pushing himself. He doesn’t want to let his teammates down.”
Parker caught a 38-yard touchdown in Miami’s 15-13 win against Baltimore last season, the Dolphins’ only win in their last five matchups against the Ravens.
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Meanwhile, left tackle Branden Albert, who has missed two games because of wrist surgery, said Friday: “You know I’ll be there on Sunday.” Gase said: “Things look good.”
Left guard Laremy Tunsil said he will play Sunday after recovering from a shoulder injury.
Linebacker Kiko Alonso – who was limited in Thursday’s practice because of a hamstring problem – returned to practice. So did Jelani Jenkins, who had been limited this week with hand and knee injuries.
Albert, Tunsil and Parker were all listed as questionable, along with Alonso, Jenkins, Kenyan Drake, Jermon Bushrod and Earl Mitchell. Cornerback Xavien Howard is doubtful and center Mike Pouncey remains out.
• Defensive end Cam Wake, asked if the Dolphins need to meet the Ravens’ physicality, said: “If anybody needs to match, it’s them matching us.... I don’t think anyone in this locker-room shies away from a physical game.”
Asked about potentially winning Comeback Player of the Year, Wake said: “That would be nice.”
• Ravens coach John Harbaugh, assessing the Dolphins: "Probably the main thing is that they're finding ways to win, especially at the end of the game. I think they've been down two of the last three, maybe, and scored - down two scores last in the game and found a way to win, get stops and make plays. They have made plays in those situations.
“The quarterback, receivers have made plays. Of course, the run game has been good all year, and their defense. Their front four is excellent. It's a really aggressive defense. [Adam Gase] has Ryan [Tannehill] playing at a high level. The offensive line has really come together. They're very well-coached. Defensively, start with the front seven; they are really disruptive up front. They play a fast, aggressive style of defense."
• Baltimore enters with the second overall ranked defense – first against the run and sixth against the pass. The Ravens allow only 3.4 yards per carry, and Terrell Suggs has eight sacks this season and 8.5 sacks in 14 games against Miami.
• Suggs raved about Jay Ajayi this week: "The kid is special. The kid is special. It is the NFL, so you are always going to face a good back, but he is one of those ... He has a little something more to his game, and you are going to like it - just like we had a couple weeks ago [against Ezekiel Elliott]. We love playing against the best and taking the challenges. This is just another one; we love them, and we look forward to playing.”
• The Dolphins added Northern Illinois receiver Da’Ron Brown to the practice squad, replacing Rashawn Scott, who was promoted…
By the way, Scott is no longer the only Dolphins player with a connection to UM. Storm Johnson, who was added to the practice squad in November, ran nine times for 119 yards as a UM freshman in 2010 but then transferred to Central Florida.
“It was a playing time thing; I wanted the best opportunity to get on the field,” he said this week. “I have no regrets. I went to a BCS [bowl] game” at UCF.
Johnson ran for 1139 yards and averaged 5.3 per carry as a UCF senior in 2013. His only NFL game experience came in 2014, when he ran 29 times for 86 yards (3.0 per carry) for Jacksonville.
He spent training camp this year with Tampa Bay but was cut.
“I don’t get tired and can see the field,” Johnson said, adding he keeps in touch with several former Canes including Allen Hurns and Tyrone Cornelius.
• Quick stuff: Ryan Tannehill, now 13th in passer rating at 94.7, is directly above three pretty good names: Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson… Mike Wallace is averaging more yards per catch for Baltimore (15.5) than he ever did in Miami (his high was 12.9 as a Dolphin)…
Dolphins opponents are converting only 33.3 percent of third downs, lowest in the league, making Miami No. 1 in that category compared with 28th last season (43.4)…. The Dolphins, who had 16 takeaways all last season, already have 15.
For my Friday post with UM football, Heat and Marlins nuggets - including what UM is telling a quarterback recruit about Brad Kaaya’s NFL decision and Hassan Whiteside’s reaction to Pat Riley’s pronouncement - please click here.