By Abe Gutierrez
With so much riding on the line in Week 16, the Miami Dolphins will need all hands on deck in order to avoid what would be a very costly loss to the Buffalo Bills. Luckily, this week’s injury report reveals that only one Fins player is expected to sit out Saturday’s game in Orchard Park, New York.
Ryan Tannehill misses second NFL start
Coming as no surprise, quarterback Ryan Tannehill is expected to miss the second start of his NFL career as he continues to nurse an injured left knee. This week, the former Texas A&M standout visited world-renowned surgeon James Andrews in Pensacola, Florida to receive treatment on his knee.
And while Tannehill has been officially ruled out for the Fins’ game on Christmas Eve, head coach Adam Gase remains hopeful about his return. The question for Tannehill now becomes whether he will play against the Patriots in the regular season finale, or in the playoff should Miami punch its ticket into the tournament.
Adam Gase on Ryan Tannehill’s return
“They haven’t told me that we should shut him down yet,” said the Fins’ head coach on Wednesday. “That’s all I know. “I take the same approach as almost anything else. When someone tells me something different, I’ll react then. I’m not going to start guessing on how long [he’ll be out].”
Pair of key Miami defenders listed as doubtful
Aside from the most talked about left knee in South Florida in recent memory, there were an additional seven Dolphins players who got their name penciled into the team’s NFL Week 16 injury report. From that list, the main concern for Gase and his staff is the health statuses of cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle) and linebacker Jelani Jenkins (knee), both listed as doubtful against Buffalo.
After missing two games, Jenkins returned to action in last week’s (34-13) victory over the NY Jets, but did not practice this week. If Jenkins is unable to go, Gase is expected to start Neville Hewitt in his place.
In Maxwell’s case, he exited last week’s game in the first quarter due to an ankle injury and did not return. The sixth-year man out of Clemson did not practice this week and will be a huge question mark on game day. If Maxwell’s unable to play, the Fins are expected to stick with Tony Lippett, who’s played well this season, and promote former second-round pick, Xavien Howard to the starting spot.
The remaining five players in Miami’s Week 16 injury report are all listed as questionable. Considering the magnitude of this ballgame, Fins fans would be glad to now that Kiko Alonso, Isa Abdul-Quddus, Jermon Bushrod, Bobby McCain and Mario Williams all had full participation in practice this week.
Miami Dolphins NFL Week 16 Injury Report & Game Statuses
- (LB) Kiko Alonso (Hamstring) –Full Participation in Practice
- (S) Isa Abdul-Quddus (Ankle) –Full Participation in Practice
- (T) Jermon Bushrod (Shoulder) –Full Participation in Practice
- (CB) Bobby McCain (Knee) –Full Participation in Practice
- (DE) Mario Williams (Ankle) –Full Participation in Practice
- (CB) Byron Maxwell (Ankle) –Did Not Participate In Practice
- (LB) Jelani Jenkins (Knee) –Did Not Participate In Practice
- (QB) Ryan Tannehill (Knee) –Did Not Participate In Practice