By Abraham Gutierrez
No matter how many names a head coach and his staff pencils in on any given weekly injury report, it’s always a beautiful thing when all the parties involved are considered probable on gameday. This is as close to that scenario as it gets for Dan Campbell and his Miami Dolphins, as their Week 7 report has all but one player expected to play against the Houston Texans.
According to the Fins’ final injury report made available Friday, there were 11 hobbled players in the Miami locker room this week. However, the good news is that only cornerback Brice McCain is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game. The seventh-year pro out of Utah is currently nursing a knee injury that kept him out of practice this entire week. While this is the first time all year his name has appeared on an injury report, all indications are that 28-year-old from Dallas, Texas will not play against Houston. McCain, who has registered 18 tackles, three passes defensed and an interception this season, suffered a sprained right knee during the first half of Miami’s 38-10 victory last week at Tennessee. He was unable to partake in preparations for the Texans, but reports indicate there was no structural damage, meaning he could be back on the field in a week or two.
In the meantime, Dolphins defensive coordinator/defensive-backs coach, Lou Anarumo, will look to Jamar Taylor, Zack Bowman (who’s also on this week’s injury report, but not injury related), Bobby McCain and Tony Lippett to pick up the slack in McCain’s absence. How he shuffles those players will be critical going up against the fourth-best passing offense in the NFL in the Houston Texans. The Fins’ secondary is tasked with slowing down one of the NFL’s best receivers, DeAndre Hopkins.
Even though the remaining 10 players are listed as probable, there were a few key components of this team that were forced to sit out practice (either entirely or on a limited basis). By far the biggest name on the Week 7 list is defensive end Cameron Wake, who had a whale of a game against the Titans. After a pedestrian start to the season, the perennial Pro Bowler played as such last week, breaking into the sacks column by dumping Tennessee’s quarterback four times. Wake, who continues to deal with a lingering hamstring injury, had full participation in practice this week, which is always an encouraging sign.
Another player that’s key to this team’s success is tackle, Branden Albert, who led the offensive line to its best effort of the season in the Music City. Plagued by injuries to start the season, having made only three starts thus far, the 2013 Pro Bowler is listed as having had limited participation in practice also due to a bad hammy this week.
Here’s how the Miami Dolphins’ NFL Week 7 injury report looks like prior to the showdown with the Houston Texans Sunday at Sun Life Stadium:
Miami Dolphins NFL Injury Report & Game Statuses (Week 7)
QB Matt Moore (Nose) – Full Participation in Practice
DT A.J. Francis (Back) – Limited Participation in Practice
DE Cameron Wake (Hamstring) – Full Participation in Practice
WR Kenny Stills (Back) – Limited Participation in Practice
CB Zackary Bowman (NIR) – Full Participation in Practice
C Mike Pouncey (Hip) – Limited Participation in Practice
DT Jordan Phillips (Ankle) – Limited Participation in Practice
CB Brent Grimes (Knee) – Full Participation in Practice
T Branden Albert (Hamstring) – Limited Participation in Practice
S Reshad Jones (Shoulder) – Full Participation in Practice
CB Brice McCain (Knee) – Did Not Participate In Practice
Abe Gutierrez’s (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, Examiner.com and other online publications.