Miami Dolphins

Buffalo Bills’ Jerry Hughes makes helmet contact with Miami Dolphins’ special teams coach on sidelines

Bills linbacker Jerry Hughes could hear from the league after appearing to ram Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi, right, with his helmet after a kick return.
Bills linbacker Jerry Hughes could hear from the league after appearing to ram Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi, right, with his helmet after a kick return. adiaz@miamiherald.com

Jerry Hughes is a live wire.

Saturday night, Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi learned just how live.

After a long kickoff return by Jakeem Grant down the left sideline, emotions spiked and the teams got into a shoving match.

Hughes, a Bills linebacker, took it a step further. He appeared to ram Rizzi with his face mask, which is obviously a big no-no. Somehow, the officials did not throw a flag on the play.

Rizzi made light of the situation on the way out of the locker room, but his players said that he is considering submitting the play to the league.

“We were making enough plays where they really didn’t have anything they could say on the field,” said Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake. “Whatever edge they need — head-butting our coaches — if that’s what they're trying to do, by all means.”

Added Miami defensive end Andre Branch: “I didn’t see it, [but] that’s part of the NFL. No matter what it takes, do what you’ve got to do.”

That wasn’t the only apparent missed call Saturday.

The Bills have just as much reason to be upset after officials appeared to miss a Buffalo player call timeout seconds before Andrew Franks’ game-tying field goal late in regulation.

Bills coach Rex Ryan also tried to call timeout but head linesman Mark Hittner determined Ryan did not do so before the ball was snapped.

“It was not reviewable,” said NFL referee Craig Wrolstad.

Ryan said later that he was “shocked” that the timeout was not called.

Tannehill update

Ryan Tannehill is no longer wearing a cast on his injured left leg, which the quarterback said was “great news” as he walked through the Dolphins’ locker room after Miami’s victory Saturday.

Tannehill missed his second straight game with the sprained ACL and MCL, but there is real reason for optimism that he’ll be back at some point if the Dolphins reach the postseason. He walked without the use of crutches Saturday, albeit with a limp.

Tannehill last week visited venerable surgeon James Andrews in Pensacola to receive treatment on the knee.

Tannehill is making every effort to return in time for a possible Dolphins’ wild-card playoff game, which the Dolphins could clinch as soon as Sunday.

If the Broncos lose to the Chiefs on Christmas night, the Dolphins would be in the postseason for the first time since 2008 — and could rest their starters in Week 17 if they wanted.

Matt Moore went 16 of 30 for 233 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his second straight start. Moore directed a game-tying drive late in regulation.

Defense exposed

This is a game the Dolphins’ defense would like to soon forget. They allowed a staggering 589 yards to the BIlls, by far the most of the season, and surrendered scores on all four of Buffalo’s second-half drives.

Their injury issues in the secondary certainly contributed.

Safety Isa Abdul-Quddus left the game in the second half with a neck injury. The Dolphins were already without cornerback Byron Maxwell, who missed Saturday’s game with an ankle injury. And of course, Reshad Jones hasn’t played since injuring his shoulder months ago.

It was left up to Xavien Howard, then, to cover dynamic Bills receiver Sammy Watkins. It wasn’t Howard’s best effort.Watkins got behind Howard multiple times, including on a 38-yard touchdown catch. He finished with 154 yards on seven catches.

“There were some ups and downs, you just have to learn from it,” Howard said. “He ran a lot of go routes.”

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments