Help at receiver has arrived. Rishard Matthews, who was held out of the team’s first two exhibition games with a knee injury, returned to practice for the Dolphins on Sunday afternoon.
Miami had been lacking depth at the position ever since Armon Binns went down with a torn ACL, but Matthews had the inside track on the fifth spot before his injury. Now that he’s returned to work, he’ll instantly become a favorite to snag a one of the final two openings at receiver.
Roster-fringe types like Chad Bumphis, Brian Tymes and Marvin McNutt are now likely battling for only one job instead of two.
Matthews caught a bomb from quarterback Ryan Tannehill in individual drills on Sunday, erasing some doubt that he might be rushing himself back to work. He also practiced returning punts.
Dion Jordan doesn’t practice
A player returns from injury, another goes to the sideline–it’s just the struggle the Dolphins have found themselves in this training camp.
Rookie defensive end Dion Jordan was held out of drills on Sunday afternoon, perhaps explaining why he saw so little action on Friday night in Jacksonville.
There’s no indication Jordan’s injury is anything serious, but head coach Joe Philbin wouldn’t provide an answer as to why he missed today’s workout after practice.
Randy Starks absent again
Former Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Randy Starks was nowhere to be found at practice this afternoon. Starks didn’t attend any of Miami’s practices last week and appears no closer to returning to the field as the Dolphins kick off week four of training camp.
I still expect him to return by the opener in Cleveland, however. If the injury was serious enough to threaten his availability for the regular season, news would have probably leaked by now explaining what Starks is dealing with.
Good thing the Dolphins are deep at the position. Even if Starks misses some games, Jared Odrick and Paul Soliai are more than capable of dominating in the trenches until he returns. When he does return, though, the Dolphins will have a dangerous three-man rotation.
Nate Garner works as first-team right guard
Josh Samuda struggled–to put it nicely–with the starters against the Jaguars. It’s never a good thing when you’re right guard is conceding pressure after pressure in pass pro.
Calling Miami’s most versatile offensive lineman up to the first team was necessary until either John Jerry returns from having his knee scoped or Lance Louis is deemed 100 percent.
Nate Garner has played virtually every position along the Dolphins’ offensive line at one point or another during his four-year tenure with the team. Providing at least decent play at right guard is now in order to stop the bleeding of a toiling unit.
No 11-on-11 work
For the first time of training camp the Dolphins didn’t do any full-team scrimmage drills at Sunday’s practice. Instead, they spent most of the session primarily working on fundamentals and special teams.
The Dolphins will practice at 8 a.m. on Monday morning.