Miami Dolphins

Koa Misi returns to Miami Dolphins practice, but his role is uncertain

Linebacker Koa Misi at practice at the Miami Dolphins training facility on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 in Davie.
Linebacker Koa Misi at practice at the Miami Dolphins training facility on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 in Davie. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Koa Misi is back. Now the question: How do the Dolphins plan to use him?

Misi practiced Tuesday for the first time in some three weeks, a sign that even if he’s not ready physically to play in an exhibition game, he will be for the regular-season opener on Sept. 13.

“I’m really excited,” Misi said before taking the field. “I don’t like sitting out and watching. It will be nice to get back there with the guys and start practicing.”

Misi injured his calf in early August and missed both preseason games. He was able to resume running last week and got word Sunday that he would suit up for practice.

Miami Herald's Miami Dolphins reporter Adam Beasley recaps the Dolphins practice Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, in Davie, Fla. Video by Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald Staff

Before his injury, Misi had practiced at middle linebacker and strong-side linebacker; Kelvin Sheppard worked the inside in his absence, allowing Chris McCain to run with the starters on the outside.

However, McCain struggled at times in the Dolphins’ preseason game Saturday, and the coaching staff might feel their best three linebackers are Sheppard, Misi and Jelani Jenkins.

While the vast majority of practice was closed to reporters Tuesday (and will be until the end of the season), coach Joe Philbin said coaches gave Misi “repetitions at a variety of different spots.” The coaching staff has made no decision on who will play where once the regular season begins, Philbin added.

Misi said he’s comfortable playing either position, and could even switch from one to the other in the middle of a game.

“I think we can be great,” Misi said of the defense. “It’s just whether or not we can communicate correctly and play ball the way I know we can.”

TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE

In light of Terrell Suggs’ low-but-legal hit on Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford after a read-option handoff, Ryan Tannehill was asked of the protections granted to — and dangers the come with being — a dual-threat quarterback.

Tannehill said “you hate to see” a defensive end take a shot at a quarterback’s legs — particularly when that quarterback (Bradford) is coming off reconstructive knee surgery.

“My eyes are always up and if I ever feel like someone is taking a shot at me, then I’ll show my hands to make it clear I don’t have the ball and then you can no longer be hit,” Tannehill said. “It’s something that we’ve covered here and talk about because we do run the zone-read and do some run fakes, but we’re also taught that if a guy is coming at you and you don’t have the ball, show your hands so you clearly don’t have the ball and then they can’t take a shot at you.”

ODDS AND ENDS

▪ Corner Jamar Taylor will likely miss Saturday’s preseason game against the Falcons after straining his quadriceps muscle, but should be ready for the regular-season opener.

▪ Three days after what he admitted was a “scary” ankle injury, rookie corner Bobby McCain practiced without a brace.

▪ Rookie wide receiver DeVante Parker continues to progress from offseason foot surgery. While he did not practice Tuesday, he ran hard during his rehab session. Parker is on track to be ready for the opener.

▪ Offensive tackle Jason Fox (concussion) and linebacker Jordan Tripp (ankle) also did not practice.

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