By Abraham Gutierrez
Most of the talk leading up to the Thursday night showdown between the Dolphins and the Patriots has been about this being Miami’s toughest test of the 2015 NFL season, and rightly so. However, have people stopped for a moment to think about the possibility that this could also be New England’s toughest game thus far? With a full roster at Dan Campbell’s disposal, and given the passion and intensity this team has played over the past two weeks, no one should be shocked if the Fins are able to go into Foxborough and end Bill Belichick’s hopes of a perfect season.READ MORE: Miami Beach Mayoral Race: Dan Gelber Seeking Third Term Against Four First-Time Candidates
Much like they’ve done since Joe Philbin’s firing, the reborn Dolphins have been going hard at practice all week, ready to make an inpact on gameday. With the final team practice made public Wednesday afternoon, all indications are that Campbell and his staff will have everyone available to try and shock the mighty Patriots and their legion of fans.
Miami fans would be glad to know that not a single player in the Dolphins’ locker room was forced to sit out practice (entirely) in preparations for the Pats. In total, there are eight players listed in this week’s injury report, three having had full participation in practice and five who partook on a limited basis.
The product of this week’s practice report is that seven players are “probable” and only one is “questionable” for this AFC East clash. The lone wolf in real danger of sitting out Week 8 is first-string cornerback, Brice McCain, whose knee injury forced him to practice on a limited basis. If he’s unable to go, Jamar Taylor and Tony Lippett will be ready to pick up the slack, as they are the team’s second and third string cornerbacks respectively.
Moving right along, one can infer that all the players with full participation in practice this week will be in uniform and ready to take the field should/if their names are called. However, those whose injuries were significant enough to limit them are still in danger of becoming DNPs on gameday.READ MORE: 62nd Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Underway
Given the Patriots pass-happy offense, the most important name on this list is three-time Pro Bowl cornerback, Brent Grimes (probable). The ninth-year pro out of Shippensburg has been nursing a bummed knee since Week 4, but suffered a rib injury in last week’s win over the Houston Texans.
Nevertheless, “Optimus Grimes” has shown an ability to play through pain in his three years as a member of the Miami Dolphins. The 32-year-old from Philadelphia comes into this Week 8 showdown against New England tied for team-highs in interceptions (2), to go along with 17 tackles in six starts.
Miami Dolphins NFL Week 8 Injury Report & Game Statuses
(QB) Matt Moore (Nose) – Limited Participation in Practice
(DT) Jordan Phillips (Ankle) – Full Participation in Practice
(LB) Spencer Paysinger (Groin) – Limited Participation in Practice
(LB) Chris McCain (NIR) – Full Participation in Practice
(CB) Brent Grimes (Knee/Ribs) – Limited Participation in Practice
(C) Mike Pouncey (Hip) – Full Participation in Practice
(CB) Zackary Bowman (Shoulder) – Limited Participation in Practice
(CB) Brice McCain (Knee) – Limited Participation 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.