Miami Dolphins: Getting Back From Bye Week
The Miami Dolphins got right back to business on Monday following the team’s bye week after beating Oakland in London.
One of the things the team should be excited about heading into their game at home against the Green Packers is the fact Knowshon Moreno was back at practice this week. Wearing a brace on his left elbow, Moreno practiced for the first time since being injured in the first quarter of the Dolphins’ Week 2 game against the Buffalo Bills.
“It felt good to get out there on the field and just work out a little bit of the rust and get back on the field,” Moreno said. “I’m just going to go out and practice and get back into that practice mentality and then my game mentality when it comes. Once that stuff comes, everything else will take care of itself.”
Moreno had the highest rushing total in the NFL in the first week of the regular season when he gained 134 yards in the 33-20 victory against the New England Patriots, but was injured on his first rushing attempt against Buffalo.
Head Coach Joe Philbin said he was optimistic that Moreno could return to action soon, but the free agent acquisition must prove in practice that he’s ready.
“He has to prove out here that he can run, he can catch, he can block,” Philbin said. “He’s got to do a lot of things. If he can do all those things, that’d be great. But we’ll have to see.”
The Dolphins have looked better this season with the ground game, getting solid contributions from Moreno, Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas when he has been in the lineup.
According to the team’s website, Mike Pouncey appears on track to make his season debut this weekend against the Green Bay Packers, and he said after practice Monday he was feeling great and as happy as he has been in a while.
There is some uncertainty, however, as to where Pouncey will line up upon his return after Philbin said last week he would explore all options to get the five best offensive linemen on the field.
Pouncey has played only center since joining the Dolphins as a first-round pick in 2011 and he was selected to the Pro Bowl at that position last season, but remember that he played guard at the University of Florida before moving inside for his senior year. Pouncey said he was simply ready to make a contribution to the Dolphins offense.
“I think I’ll make a big one,” he said. “Whatever position I’m playing at, it’s going to be for the better of the team.”
PLAYERS MOVING FORWARD
With versatile defensive lineman Derrick Shelby out of action after being suspended by the Dolphins for conduct detrimental to the team, it could be up to Terrence Fede and Anthony Johnson to make up for those snaps.
The two rookies say they’re up to the challenge.
“It’s football; I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember,” Johnson said. “At the end of the day, I put in the work every day at practice and if it’s four snaps to 20 snaps, whatever the coaches need me to do, I’ll go in and do it.
“The coaches spoke to everybody on the unit and told everybody we have to pick it up. Shelby was a guy who was quiet but he came in and played high-quality 30-plus snaps. So at the end of the day, Terrence Fede has to step up at defensive end and myself on the inside to help take some of the pressure off those older guys.”
Johnson has appeared in all four games this season, while Fede made his NFL regular season debut in the 38-14 victory against the Oakland Raiders in London two Sundays ago.
“It’s big shoes to fill in, but I’m ready for the opportunity that I have,” Fede said. “Coach told me that when you’re out there, you’ve just got to give it your all, you’ve just got to hope for the best.”