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Dolphins, Patriots Will Try To Overcome Numerous Injuries For AFC East Showdown

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By Abraham Gutierrez

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 8:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws in the first half against the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

(Credit, Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Ready to put a cap on their scheduled 2013 NFL regular season head-to-head meetings, the Dolphins and Patriots will try and overcome a mountain of injuries in preparation for a series finale with a playoff-feel.

Sun Life Stadium in sunny Miami Gardens, Fla., will be the site for this AFC East Week 15 showdown at 1 p.m. ET on CBS-4 (Miami).

With the Broncos loss to the Chargers, Tom Brady and the Patriots now have the ability to control their own destiny and clinch home-field advantage all the way to the Super Bowl.

For Ryan Tannehill and company, a three-game season will likely decide whether Miami or Baltimore deserves to clinch the sixth and final AFC Wild Card spot.

And while the writing’s on the wall for the Ravens to fall, the Dolphins still have to execute, and ultimately try and win out, in order to avoid any misfortunes.

First up, the division-leading New England Patriots, who detailed a whopping 16 aching bodies in their Week 15 preliminary NFL injury report.

Patriots Preliminary (Week 15) Injury Report

While Rob Gronkowski is certainly New England’s most significant injury, the fact that he’s been placed in season-ending injured reserve excludes him from this week’s list.

And while 16 injured players seems a bit excessive for any team, Pats fans would be glad to know that only Aaron Dobson (foot) was unable to practice this week, likely leading to a DNP on game day.

There were 12 additional players tagged with the “Limited Participation in Practice” status this week, which is something to keep an eye out considering the importance of some of the names on this list.

After limited snaps, Bill Belichick’s staff is working around the clock to try and have as many of the following players ready for Sunday’s clash: Quarterback Tom Brady (right shoulder), linebacker Brandon Spikes (knee), tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (knee), wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins (hip), safety Steve Gregory (finger), tackles Nate Solder (concussion), Will Svitek (ankle) and Marcus Cannon (ankle), and cornerbacks Aqib Talib (hip), Alfonzo Dennard (knee/shoulder), Marquice Cole (shin) and Kyle Arrington (groin).

Finally, there are those who, despite being slowed by injury, were able to partake in “Full” team practices. Barring any setbacks, Pats fans can expect to see the following players on the field this week: Running back Shane Vereen (wrist) and wide receivers Danny Amendola (groin) and Matt Slater (wrist).

Dolphins Preliminary (Week 15) Injury Report

While the Fins official report consists of only half of the Patriots, there are two players whose names will not appear on this list, as they’ve been played on season-ending injured reserve.

Confirmed reports indicate that cornerback Dimitri Patterson, who battled a groin injury all season, and backup cornerback R.J. Stanford, who broke a leg in Sunday’s win over Pittsburgh, have been placed in IR.

Thus, the Dolphins signed safety Michael Thomas from the Niners practice squad and free agent cornerback Justin Rogers, who was waived by the Bills before being cut by the Texans earlier in the year.

It’s also worth noting that center Mike Pouncey did not participate during Wednesday’s practice, but his absence isn’t injury related. Instead, the third-year man spent the day testifying in front of a Massachusetts grand jury in connection to former Florida Gators teammate, Aaron Hernandez.

According to reports, Pouncey was subpoenaed following Miami’s Oct. 27 loss to the Patriots in Foxborough.

In addition to Pouncey, safety Reshad Jones also was unable to practice this week, as he continues to rehab a groin injury.

Miami players listed as “Limited Participation in Practice” this week include: Cornerbacks Nolan Carroll (hamstring) and Jamar Taylor (hamstring), as well as defensive tackle Paul Soliai (ankle) and safety Chris Clemons (knee/hamstring).

Much like in the case of the Patriots, those players who partook in “Full Practice” this week will likely see significant playing time Sunday in Sun Life Stadium. Those players are running back Lamar Miller (concussion) and tackle Nate Garner (ribs).

Patriots Week 15 (Penultimate) Injury Report Recap

Did Not Participate In Practice

  • (WR) Aaron Dobson (foot)

Limited Participation In Practice

  • (QB) Tom Brady (right shoulder)
  • (LB) Brandon Spikes (knee)
  • (TE) Michael Hoomanawanui (knee)
  • (WR) Kenbrell Thompkins (hip)
  • (S) Steve Gregory (finger)
  • (T) Nate Solder (concussion),
  • (T) Will Svitek (ankle)
  • (T) Marcus Cannon (ankle)
  • (CB) Aqib Talib (hip)
  • (CB) Alfonzo Dennard (knee/shoulder)
  • (CB) Marquice Cole (shin)
  • (CB) Kyle Arrington (groin)

Full Participation In Practice

  • (WR) Danny Amendola (groin)
  • (WR) Matt Slater (wrist)
  • (RB) Shane Vereen (wrist)

Dolphins Week 15 Injury Report Recap

Did Not Participate In Practice

  • (C) Mike Pouncey (subpoena)
  • (S) Reshad Jones (groin)

Limited Participation In Practice

  • (CB) Nolan Carroll (hamstring)
  • (CB) Jamar Taylor (hamstring)
  • (DT) Paul Soliai (ankle)
  • (S) Chris Clemons (knee/hamstring)

Full Participation In Practice

  • (RB) Lamar Miller (concussion)
  • (T) Nate Garner (ribs)

Practice Reference Key

  • DNP: Did not participate in practice.
  • LP: Limited Participation in Practice – Less than 100 percent of a player’s normal repetitions.
  • FP: Full Participation – 100 percent of a player’s normal repetitions.
  • Out: Player will not play.
  • Not Listed: No practice status available.

Game Status Reference Key

  • Out: Player will not play.
  • Doubtful: 25 percent chance a player will play.
  • Questionable: 50 percent chance a player will play.
  • Probable: 75 percent chance a player will play.

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. .

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