Miami Dolphins

Dolphins begin preparation for Patriots without five key players

Dolphins coach Adam Gase : We’ve got guys that can do a lot of different things

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase talks to the media after their 28-20 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
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Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase talks to the media after their 28-20 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

With a road game at New England looming on Sunday, injuries are impacting the Dolphins at multiple positions. Where things stand:

▪ Safety: Reshad Jones was limited in practice because of a shoulder injury that sidelined him on Sunday against the Raiders. And though Jones said he feels a “lot better,” he was non-committal about whether he would be available for the Patriots game. He told The Miami Herald he is not sure he will be able to play.

▪ Defensive line: Of the five defensive ends on the 53-man roster for last Sunday’s game, only two practiced Wednesday: Robert Quinn and Charles Harris. William Hayes was placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL, Andre Branch is expected to miss two to four weeks with a knee injury and Cameron Wake (knee) missed practice but is expected to play Sunday.

The Dolphins promoted defensive end Jonathan Woodard from the practice squad, opting for the former Jaguars seventh-round pick over veterans Kony Ealy and Robert Ayers, who auditioned for Miami on Tuesday. Woodard, who impressed in training camp and preseason, said he believes the Dolphins like his “ability to rush the passer and set the edge.”

Because the Dolphins like to rotate lots of linemen, “they need me to make an impact [quickly],” Woodard said. He has never played in a regular season NFL game but likely will be Miami’s No. 4 defensive end against the Patriots.

▪ Linebacker: Chase Allen missed practice with a foot injury, and Miami signed former Redskins linebacker Martrell Spaight, who started five games for Washington last season and had 75 tackles. Stephone Anthony likely will be the team’s fourth linebacker Sunday if Allen cannot play.

▪ Tight end: A.J. Derby didn’t practice because of a foot injury, meaning the Dolphins have two healthy tight ends: rookies Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe. Gase suggested there could be more changes before Sunday; promoting Nick O’Leary from the practice squad is considered a decent possibility.

Gase said Gesicki “grew a lot” in the Oakland game, adding: “I saw some good things. I saw some things aggression-wise that we’ve been waiting for. We’ll keep building off of that. I think Durham has done a good job when he’s been in there.”

The Dolphins already were short-handed on the offensive line, with Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton out for the season with a rotator cuff injury.

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