Let’s start here: The Dolphins Cancer Challenge did a lot of good for a lot of people who need it Saturday.
The team’s eighth annual cycling event/road race/concert again raised millions of dollars for cancer research, treatment and education.
All funds raised — more than $22 million since the event’s inception — benefit the University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center.
“The funds are critically important for us,” said Edward Abraham, the CEO of UHealth. “We can’t do it without community involvement.”
Hard Rock Stadium was the venue, and hosted two rock bands who were huge in the ’90s: the Goo Goo Dolls and Big Head Todd and the Monsters.
The appearance took on added significance for Todd Park Mohr of Big Head Todd; he lost both parents to cancer.
The event brought out a number of Dolphins players, all of whom are entering an important off-season.
The takeaways from their media availability:
▪ Cornerback Tony Lippett’s rehab from a torn Achilles is apace, and he is on track to participate in the off-season conditioning program and practices, which begin in April.
“I’ve been good, man. Grinding,” Lippett said. “It’s been intense, it’s been good. I learned a lot about my body. Getting better everyday.”
Lippett tore the tendon on a freak, untouched play in training camp. It was the most significant injury of his life, he said.
“I was going up to make a play on the ball, came down and something wasn’t right in my foot,” Lippett said.
If he indeed makes a full recovery, the Dolphins’ secondary will be better because of it. He will presumably compete with Cordrea Tankersley for the boundary corner spot opposite Xavien Howard.
▪ Speaking of the Dolphins’ secondary, T.J. McDonald was confident that his unresolved legal issue will not keep him off the field.
McDonald has yet to complete his community service obligations from a DUI plea deal in California, but said he will — thanks to an extension granted by the courts.
“I’m in the process of doing all of my community service and making sure I knock everything out,” said McDonald who added that reports he might be sent to jail over the delay “got a little bit out of hand.”
McDonald, who signed a big contract extension before the 2017 season, is able to serve the community time in South Florida. He said he has worked with the Boys and Girls Club, among other groups.
“It’s not a chore for me. I love it.”
▪ Defensive end Andre Branch, whose stepmother is a breast cancer survivor, happily shook hands and met with survivors Saturday.
As for his own health — he underwent surgery for an unspecified knee injury that hampered his production in 2017 — “the rehab’s going great. ... I’m ahead of schedule.”
Branch would not commit to being available for spring practice, however.
He said the surgery was “much needed.”