The Dolphins look to be in pretty good shape heading into their Week 1 matchup against the Texans.
Miami released its injury reports on Thursday and Friday, and it appears most of the starters will see action in the opener. A few players, however, have been limited in practice.
Starting guard John Jerry (ankle), starting tackle Jake Long (knee), starting linebacker Koa Misi (back) and backup linebacker Jason Trusnik (ankle) were all listed on the limited in practice list on Wednesday and Thursday.
Wide receiver Brian Hartline (calf), defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (knee/toes) and defensive end Derrick Shelby (shoulder) were all listed on the injury report but fully participated in practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
On Friday, though, McDaniel was listed as questionable on the injury report, so his participation on Sunday is uncertain. McDaniel is the backup left defensive tackle behind Randy Starks, so his absence in the game, as far as depth is concerned, would really be felt by Miami’s defense. He played in 12 games last year but started in just one, finished the season with 19 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two pass deflections.
Hartline, Jerry, Long, Misi, Shelby and Trusnik were all listed as probable for the game.
Turning to the Texans, running back Arian Foster missed a bulk of practice on Thursday after suffering what appeared to be some swelling in his knee. He was listed as limited in practice on Thursday’s official injury report.
Linebacker Brian Cushing (ribs), tight end Owen Daniels (illness), safety Shiloh Keo (neck) and linebacker Brooks Reed (hip) rounded out the guys listed on the limited in practice list on Thursday.
Nosetackle Shaun Cody (back/ankle), receiver Andre Johnson (chest), running back Ben Tate (head) and defensive end J.J. Watt (elbow) made the injury report but fully participated in practice.
Houston outside linebacker Bryan Braman missed all of practice on Wednesday and Thursday with a hamstring injury. Braman is the backup left outside linebacker behind Brooks Reed. The 25-year-old, who was signed as an undrafted free agent a year ago, is seeking to make a bigger impact in 2012 after raking in just eight combined tackles and 0.5 sacks last season.
With Reed and Braman both listed as questionable for the game, the Texans would look to third string linebacker Jesse Nading for relief.
Foster is Houston’s best weapon on the ground. His absence would alleviate the headache Miami’s defense would have as it has just transitioned from the 3-4 to the 4-3 defense.
Last season, Foster rushed for 1,224 yards on 278 attempts with 10 touchdowns. He also caught 53 passes for 617 yards and two touchdowns. So, he presents problems for Miami’s pass defense as well.
The Houston Texans will play host to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at 1:00pm eastern.
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Jeremiah Thermidor is a freelance writer covering all things Miami Dolphins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.