Adam Gase: ‘Nothing we did was good’
The Dolphins were one of the league’s healthiest teams in preseason, with no significant injury to a starter other than receiver DeVante Parker’s broken finger.
But their luck has turned since, and Monday delivered more bad news: Center Daniel Kilgore was diagnosed with a torn triceps and is likely out for the remainder of the season, according to a league source.
Meanwhile, cornerback Bobby McCain will miss a few weeks with a knee injury, according to a league source.
Those two injuries meant the Dolphins ended Sunday’s game without seven starters.
Besides McCain and Kilgore, the Dolphins also were missing safety Reshad Jones (who was sidelined for a second game in a row with a shoulder injury), Parker (quadriceps injury), guard Josh Sitton (out for the year with a shoulder injury) and two tight ends — MarQueis Gray (out for the year with a foot injury) and A.J. Derby (sidelined with a foot injury).
Also, key reserve defensive ends William Hayes and Andre Branch are out after sustaining knee injuries against Oakland — Hayes for the season, Branch for at least another week if not longer.
Most players who sustain triceps tears are lost for the season, as former Browns lineman Joe Thomas was last season. That is expected to be the case with Kilgore.
Travis Swanson played 33 of the Dolphins’ 49 offensive snaps on Sunday and will replace Kilgore at center. Swanson appeared to have had a part in giving up a sack on Sunday, but coach Adam Gase said he played well overall.
Swanson has considerable starting experience, having opened 42 games for the Lions during the past four years.
“That’s a tough position to get thrown in, especially a newer guy to the program,” Gase said of Swanson. “All of a sudden you go against those guys. He did a good job.
“There are some things he will want to clean up, some procedural things. We had confidence in what he could do. His intelligence is off the charts. [He’s] somebody [offensive line coach] Jeremiah Washburn has been around before; communication is easy with him.”
A former third-round pick by the Lions out of Arkansas in 2014, Swanson finished last season on injured reserve with a concussion, marking the second consecutive season he was diagnosed with one. He spent part of training camp with the Jets before being released.
The Dolphins had hoped Kilgore would be more durable than Mike Pouncey, who’s now with the Chargers. Kilgore played in every game for the 49ers last season but missed the last three games of 2016 with a knee injury.
Center Jake Brendel, who played well in relief of Pouncey during the second-half of a game last October, is eligible to come off injured reserve after eight games. Brendel has been sidelined with a calf injury since the second day of training camp.
McCain returned to Sunday’s game briefly after sustaining the knee injury, but tests revealed an injury that will sideline him for a few weeks, potentially three depending on how quickly he heals. He was walking with a limp after the game.
Undrafted second-year cornerback Torry McTyer is expected to take over as boundary cornerback opposite Xavien Howard.
McTyer impressed during parts of preseason but his performance has been uneven in limited snaps over the first four games. He missed two tackles in Sunday’s game.
Cordrea Tankersley, who struggled badly in preseason, could possibly challenge McTyer for the starting job. For now, Tankersley is looking to regain trust, after allowing completions on 10 of his first 11 targets in preseason.
Asked about Tankersley, Gase said: “The best way to grab a coach’s eyes is practice well. Do it day in and day out and be consistent. When you are up and down, you see guys get frustrated and coaches get frustrated and the player get frustrated.”
Cornell Armstrong, the rookie sixth-round pick, is also on the 53-man roster and the Dolphins have one cornerback on their practice squad — undrafted Utah State rookie Jalen Davis.
As for Jones and Parker, Gase said they would have played if they had been able and declined to speculate on their availability for Sunday. Parker’s latest health setback is a quadriceps injury sustained last week.