Miami Dolphins

With Bobby McCain ailing, rookie cornerback Tony Lippett is ‘in the plans’

The Dolphins are curious to see how converted wide receiver Tony Lippett performs as a cornerback.
The Dolphins are curious to see how converted wide receiver Tony Lippett performs as a cornerback. AP

Bobby McCain was back at practice Thursday after suffering a concussion against the Giants, but it’s unclear if he will play Sunday against the Chargers.

If not, it opens the door for another rookie cornerback — Tony Lippett — to finally get his shot.

Interim coach Dan Campbell identified Lippett as one of the young Dolphins in line for a bigger role now that Miami is eliminated from the playoffs.

The team is enamored with the converted wide receiver’s size (6-2, 192 pounds), but need to get a feel for how the fifth-round pick can play as it puts together its plan for 2016.

“It’s going to be exciting,” Lippett said. “I’ve been playing ball for a long time, so I’m not going to make it so big, the moment so big that I can’t compete. I’m just going to go out there and compete and play my game and just try to make something happen.”

Although Lippett got snaps from scrimmage against the Eagles, this would be his first start. And there’s no tip-toeing into the role. Although San Diego has been a mess this season, Philip Rivers remains as dangerous as ever.

Rivers has thrown for 3,976 yards and 23 touchdowns in 13 games, and Lippett expects to have a target on his back.

“Just play ball,” Lippett said. “If he’s throwing the ball your way, make a play on the ball. He’s a great player, great quarterback and things like that, so I’m just trying to go out there, take it one play at a time and just make something happen.”

Dolphins defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo said Thursday that McCain is “day-to-day,” adding that Lippett “is certainly in the plans. … He brings a unique skill set” with his size.

LANDRY CLOSE TO RECORD

Only one thing can prevent Jarvis Landry from breaking the team’s receiving record: His health.

Landry is one catch shy of O.J. McDuffie’s single-season franchise record (90). If he plays the final three weeks, Landry should not only break the record, but obliterate it.

“I want to be one of the best to ever put on this uniform, excluding Dan [Marino], of course,” Landry said. “Being able to have your own accomplishments, break your own records, then hopefully put things out of reach for the next guy. Raise the bar, raise the standard.”

But will his body hold up? He missed practice Thursday with a knee injury; Campbell acknowledged Wednesday that Landry is “beat up.”

INJURY UPDATES

▪ Linebacker Jelani Jenkins again sat out practice Thursday with an ankle injury, putting his availability for Sunday’s game in serious doubt. If Jenkins can’t go, Neville Hewitt would likely start in his place.

▪ Right tackle Ja’Wuan James had hopes of playing this week after missing the past six games with a toe injury. Those hopes likely have faded. A day after practicing on a limited basis, James was held out completely.

▪ Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell also probably won’t play. A nagging calf injury kept him out of the second half Monday and both days of practice this week.

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

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