By Abraham Gutierrez
The Miami Dolphins face its toughest test of the 2013 NFL season, and Joe Philbin will need all hands on deck to try and upset the undefeated New Orleans Saints in the “Big Easy” Monday night. While the team detailed 11 players in this week’s injury report – including nine on the defensive side – the Fins have plenty to smile about heading into this battle of unbeatens.
Dolphins Defense Injury Report (Sept. 27)
According to Friday’s report, only (CB) Dimitri Patterson was unable to contribute in this week’s preparations, which will likely lead to a DNP against the Saints on Game Day. As many may recall, Patterson picked off (QB) Brandon Weeden twice in the season opener against the Cleveland Browns and recorded two (solo) tackles on the win. However, even with an extra day of rest, the seventh-year man out of Tuskegee appears destined to sit out his third straight game with a groin injury.
Luckily, Miami has plenty of depth at the defensive-back position, which will be critical against seven-time Pro Bowler Drew Brees and the Saints’ vertical passing game.
The Dolphins’ secondary, currently ranked third in the league with five takeaways, has four healthy bodies to throw into the mix, which include: (CBs) Brent Grimes (10 tackles, INT), Nolan Carroll (13 tackles, INT), Will Davis (Rookie) and (DB) R.J. Stanford (3rd season).
And although there are two safeties listed in Friday’s report, as stated above, neither one missed significant practice time this week.
After sealing the victory in the home opener – picking off Matt Ryan with 33 seconds left in the game – Jimmy Wilson (6 tackles, INT) participated in full team practices and is expected to play despite a groin injury.
Also listed as questionable is fellow safety Chris Clemons (9 tackles), who’s nursing a hamstring and a quadriceps injury heading into week 4.
It’s no secret that defense is going to be the key for a Miami victory at the Superdome, and thus, here are the remaining (defensive) players listed in Friday’s injury report along with NFL fantasy news:
Middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (ribs) – Limited participation in practice this week: In his first year in South Florida, the former Raven has already proven to be a valuable asset, recording 30 tackles (19 solo, 11 assists) through three games despite injuries. Ellerbe will likely see action Monday night in the Bayou.
Linebacker Jonathan Freeny (shoulder) – Limited participation in practice this week: The second-year man out of Rutgers participated in limited practices, but is expected to play against the Saints. After recording 14 tackles (9 solo, 5 assists) in 16 games last season, Freeny is yet to get into the record books in 2013.
Outside linebacker Koa Misi (shoulder) – Limited participation in practice this week: The fourth-year man out of Utah has also been instrumental in the Fins’ perfect start. Misi has recorded 12 tackles (7 solo, 5 assists) through three (starts) games, and is expected to be on the field Monday in primetime.
Outside linebacker Philip Wheeler (thumb) – Full participation in practice this week: Nursing a thumb injury has done little to sow down the former Raider. After three starts as a Fin, the ex-Yellow Jacket has recorded 22 tackles (17 solo, 5 assists) a 1/2 sack, and is expected to take the field in the week 4 finale.
Defensive tackle Paul Soliai (knee) – Limited participation in practice this week: After recording six tackles (3 solo, 3 assists) versus the Browns and Colts, the former Utes standout sat out last week’s home opener against the Falcons. Thus, his status for the MNF game versus the Saints remains uncertain.
Defensive end Cameron Wake (knee) – Limited participation in practice this week: After getting off to a great start in the opener against Cleveland (4 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks), Wake has been clearly restricted due to knee issues. The fifth-year player out of Penn State has mustered just one tackle in his following two starts.
Dolphins Offense Injury Report (Sept. 27)
Wide receiver Brandon Gibson (knee) – Full participation in practice this week: This is great news for this offense. In his first season as a Dolphin, Gibson is already one of Ryan Tannehill’s favorite targets. Through three games, the former WSU Cougar has been thrown to as many times as Mike Wallace, and has recorded 14 catches for 137 yards (9.8 average).
Center Mike Pouncey (ankle) - Full participation in practice this week: Pouncey is expected to make the 36th consecutive start of his NFL career. The third-year man out of Florida has not only proven to be very durable, but the camaraderie he’s developing with quarterback Ryan Tannehill is crucial for the team’s success.
Kickoff for this Monday Night Football showdown is scheduled for 8:40 p.m. EST from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La., and it’ll be broadcast live on ESPN.
Miami Dolphins Injury Report (Sept. 27)
DID NOT PRACTICE
- (CB) Dimitri Patterson (groin)
- (S) Chris Clemons (hamstring)
- (LB) Dannell Ellerbe (ribs)
- (LB) Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
- (LB) Koa Misi (shoulder)
- (DT) Paul Soliai (knee)
- (DE) Cameron Wake (knee)
- (WR) Brandon Gibson (knee)
- (C) Mike Pouncey (ankle)
- (LB) Philip Wheeler (thumb)
- (S) Jimmy Wilson (groin)
For more Dolphins news and updates, visit Dolphins Central.
Abe Gutierrez is a criminal justice admin whose love for sports led him to become a writer and editor. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com and its partners. His work can be found on Examiner.com. .