A six-pack of Dolphins notes:
• Look for the Dolphins to announce later in the day Saturday that they are promoting rookie defensive end Cameron Malveaux from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins plan to place rookie safety Maurice Smith on the reserve/non-football illness list because of an appendix issue.
Malveaux signed with Miami as an undrafted free agent out of Houston, where he had 16.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, seven passes defended and three forced fumbles in four years. He impressed the team in training camp.
The Dolphins lost a defensive end this week when William Hayes was placed on injured reserve with a back injury.
Smith made the team as an undrafted free agent from Georgia and played 22 defensive snaps - mostly in the Oakland games - and appeared in six games.
The Dolphins like Smith and he will be back with the team during the offseason program.
Also, the Dolphins signed former UM receiver Rashawn Scott to the practice squad. He was cut from the 53-man roster when Miami claimed tight end A.J. Derby off waivers from New England.
• Because Kenyan Drake has fumbled twice in four games, offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen predicts "now there will be a feeding frenzy. Everyone comes after it. You can’t lay the ball on the ground. He knows that. We know that."
With Damien Williams out, Drake "will get a bigger workload,’ Christensen said. “This will be a great challenge for him. I have great confidence in him. But he’s got to go do it."
Drake said he believes he never has had more than 15 carries in a game since high school, even at Alabama.
Meanwhile, De’Veon Smith could get his first NFL carry Sunday. The Dolphins opted to promote Smith from the practice squad and wait on Sinorise Perry to heal from a concussion (he’s not out of protocol yet) instead of signing a veteran back as Jeremy Langford.
Smith ran for 2235 yards in four years at Michigan (4.5 per carry) and 22 touchdowns. He also caught 38 passes for 251 yards.
"Tough guy," Christensen said of Smith. "I think he does bring an attitude. That’s the biggest thing. He will give us toughness and leverage. Low, hard nosed guy. These guys are thumpers. I would [refer to] him more as thumper than finesse guy."
• Jesse Davis has played well enough that he figures to be a cheap, appealing option to start on the right side of the offensive line next season.
But is he better at guard or tackle?
"I don’t know," Christensen said. "He’s a long guy. Your first thought would be tackle – ala Laremy Tunsil. There is a longterm benefit to having played both and seeing how the whole thing works. I don’t know which is better. We haven’t had a long evaluation at one spot."
Davis has been starting at guard in Jermon Bushrod’s absence but figures to move back to right tackle as soon as Bushrod is healthy.
If Davis plays great at right tackle, the Dolphins could keep there next season and cut Ja’Wuan James, who’s out for the season.
• Though it was Hayes who asked the Dolphins to tear up the 2018 portion of his contract when Miami traded for him from the Rams last offseason (and Miami obliged), the Dolphins suspect he would like to return.
And they valued what he gave them against the run this season before his season-ending back injury.
"Will is happy here," defensive coordinator Matt Burke said. "I know he’s expressed in the past gratefulness for us bringing him in and he likes the scheme, the atmosphere and what he’s doing here. I’m sure that he’s enjoyed his time playing here this season. We’ll address the next season after the year."
• Cornerback Cordrea Tankersley said on the busted play that resulted in a 39-yard Phillip Dorsett completion last Sunday, he was supposed to stop pursuing Dorsett if Dorsett ran his route a certain way and instead leave the responsibility for a safety. But as defensive coordinator Matt Burke said, Tankersley should have remained on Dorsett.
Does that type of nuanced spontaneous decision cause confusion for a rookie?
Tankersley said no but admitted he "hadn’t seen" that particular play ever in a game.
"It was miscommunication," he said. "Week 13, 14, we need to have that down pat. On that play, if it looked like he was going under the linebacker, I was [supposed to] stay with it. If I see it again, I know how to do it. I learn something every week."
Incidentally, the Dolphins are trying to avoid the ignominious distinction of not having an interception from a boundary cornerback this season.
Tankersley and Xavien Howard say they haven’t discussed it between themselves, but said defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo joked he would give a gift to the first one who does.
"Our coaches stress it," Tankersley said. "We’ve got to put ourselves in position so it can happen. It’s going to come."
Slot corner Bobby McCain has two interceptions.
• Jarvis Landry, who’s obviously a dynamic athlete, said he has gotten a few running back practice snaps this year and was ready to play the position if Drake had been injured late against the Patriots, leaving Miami with no running backs.