The Miami Dolphins nearly notched a huge win this past week against the Carolina Panthers, but the cats came roaring back and stole a win away from the ‘Fins. This week’s matchup against the New York Jets is as crucial as any rivalry game this week, as it carries major repercussions in the huge race for the last seed in the playoffs in the AFC. The Jets also have arguably the league’s best run defense, which could be a serious disadvantage for the Dolphins, who would like to keep a somewhat balanced offensive attack in order to help second-year QB Ryan Tannehill dismantle the Jets burn-prone secondary.
Center Mike Pouncey is easily the star of the Dolphins offensive line, and he’s one of the best players in the league at his position. The Dolphins offensive line was never good to begin with, but it’s turned into a farce when it comes to run blocking. Lamar Miller has plenty of talent, but the speedy, elusive back can’t use his speed or elude defenders without holes or lanes to run through first. Compound that with Daniel Thomas’s potentially season-ending, likely high-ankle sprain, and you have a recipe for disaster in the running game if Pouncey is unable to play.
Thankfully, it looks like Pouncey is on track to play this week against the Jets despite the fact that he has missed the past two games with a serious gallbladder issues. The Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero reports that Mike Pouncey returned to practice today for the Dolphins.
Although it is unclear if he was limited or practiced fully (I bet he was limited), the fact that Pouncey is practicing today means that he is fully on track to suit up this week. That would be great news for the Dolphins rushing attack, though their struggles on the ground combined with Thomas’s injury mean that it will most likely be rough sailing against the Jets stingy run D. Thomas is a very underwhelming back, but his strength and ability to spell Miller were assets for the Dolphins.