If the Miami Dolphins could be efficient on the bottom towards the Bills, like they had been final time in Buffalo, it will give them their finest shot as they go into Sunday’s wild-card playoff recreation with rookie third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson the projected starter.
The Dolphins ran for 188 yards once they performed the Bills tight on Dec. 17, a 32-29 defeat on a last-second subject purpose. It was their second-best dashing output of the season and got here as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was attempting to get out of a funk from the 2 losses in California on the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers.
This time, Miami (9-8) might have the same floor recreation in an effort to compete towards the mighty Bills (13-3) with Thompson, a seventh-round decide previously draft, in line to start out whereas Tagovailoa stays in concussion protocol and backup Teddy Bridgewater could solely be accessible in an emergency function with the dislocated pinky finger on his throwing hand.
Last time, it was Mostert carrying the workload whereas Wilson was unavailable. Now, the roles have been reversed with Mostert struggling a damaged thumb in final week’s win over the New York Jets and Wilson the wholesome lead again.
“We just got to stay within the game, keep our composure and don’t try to play outside your means,” Wilson mentioned in regards to the doubtlessly huge function he would possibly play in Orchard Park on Sunday. “Play football like you’ve been doing, and just add a little bit more to it.”
The Dolphins could also be with out Mostert, and three beginning offensive linemen haven’t practiced this week as of Thursday, together with Pro Bowl left sort out Terron Armstead, however offensive coordinator Frank Smith nonetheless has confidence in his group’s dashing assault, constructing off a 162-yard output within the regular-season finale towards New York.
“With what we do,” Smith mentioned, “trying to build consistency within our system with running our core concepts and allowing everyone to really get an understanding of what the play’s intent is, what are the stress points of the play or what are the critical factors of the play.”
Smith was requested Thursday if he’d like the sport plan with Thompson towards the Bills, a recreation through which extra factors could also be wanted in an effort to win, to be just like that of the Jets, avoiding turnovers and minimizing danger in an 11-6 victory. He didn’t reveal an excessive amount of.
“Philosophically for an offense, our job is to score points, and however we score points is trying to obviously win the game,” he mentioned. “So, for us last week, we felt there was an opportunity with the Jets to attack them in a way that maybe we hadn’t attacked certain opponents the same way.”
Mostert led Miami with 891 dashing yards in 2022. Wilson, in eight video games since being acquired on the commerce deadline, went for 392. Both averaged a tad underneath 5 yards per carry, with Mostert at 4.9 and Wilson 4.7.
If Mostert can’t go, Salvon Ahmed will doubtless spell Wilson. Ahmed had a landing within the final recreation at Buffalo and had a key run to arrange the profitable subject purpose Sunday.
“He’s a great fit to our system,” Smith mentioned. “I like his vision, his toughness, his ability to redirect, his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.”
Wilson was restricted at Wednesday’s observe with an sickness however participated absolutely on Thursday, in accordance with Miami’s damage report.
Armstead once more missed group drills Thursday as he tries to work again from lacking the final two video games as a consequence of toe, pectoral, knee and hip accidents.
Meanwhile, outdoors linebackers Bradley Chubb (hand/ankle) and Melvin Ingram (veteran relaxation) returned to observe participation Thursday — Chubb was restricted.
Mostert (thumb) missed a second consecutive observe, however coach Mike McDaniel was not ruling him out when he spoke Wednesday.
Armstead is one in all 4 offensive linemen who wasn’t working towards, together with left guard Liam Eichenberg (hand), proper sort out Brandon Shell (knee/ankle) and sort out Kendall Lamm (ankle).
Tagovailoa, who has already been dominated out, didn’t get cleared to return for Thursday’s session.
Bridgewater, who remained restricted, was not seen throwing throughout the media viewing portion of observe. The fifth digit on his proper hand nonetheless has irritation from the dislocation and bends outward.
Also listed as restricted individuals Thursday had been: Wide receivers Jaylen Waddle (ankle) and Cedrick Wilson Jr. (hip/groin), outdoors linebacker Jaelan Phillips (toe/wrist) and fullback Alec Ingold (thumb).
Ferguson household reunion
Dolphins lengthy snapper Blake Ferguson and Buffalo lengthy snapper Reid Ferguson are sure to be the primary brothers to satisfy in an NFL postseason recreation for the reason that Philadelphia Eagles’ Chris Long and Chicago Bears’ Kyle Long confronted off within the 2018 postseason on Jan. 6, 2019, in accordance with Elias Sports Bureau.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Blake Ferguson mentioned. “I believe it’s been a purpose of ours for a very long time to each make it to this degree. Having each of us right here, it’s cool that you simply bought a shot to go all the best way, and the street to attending to Arizona is thru Buffalo.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun facing him and, obviously, a familiar opponent. We’re looking forward to it.”
The Fergusons sq. off usually as AFC East division rivals. With Blake in his third NFL season and Reid in his fifth, each out of LSU, they’ve met six occasions within the common season. Now, it’s their first postseason conflict.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to win this one a little bit more than the rest,” Blake mentioned, “but you have to look at them all the same. They all count as one, and right now, it’s win or go home.”