By Abraham Gutierrez
Even though the Miami Dolphins’ 2015 NFL season could only be categorized as disastrous, the fact that the Fins will have the opportunity to prevent the New England Patriots from clinching the top seed in the AFC playoffs still remains.
This should not only motivate Dan Campbell and his staff to finish the year on a high note, but if the Fins’ NFL Week 17 injury report is any indication, the interim coach should have almost a full roster to throw at Bill Belichick and the mighty Pats.
For starters, Miami reported three injured players as probable to play this Sunday at Sun Life Stadium, all belonging to the offensive unit. Despite taking a beating last week, quarterback Ryan Tannehill is coming off a full week of practice, and thus, will be under center.
The Texas A&M product is listed as only having a banged up thigh, but it’s been well documented that he’s also nursing a number of other injuries. Following last week’s (18-12) loss to the Colts, Tannehill was seen in the locker room with his left leg “completely wrapped,” not to mention the fact that he reportedly discovered blood in his urine days before the Indy game.
“He’s a tough kid, and if he can go, he’s going to go,” Campbell said after watching the Colts dump his starting QB six times. “I’ve been saying it all year: We have to find a way to protect him better…. I think we have to take [the injury] day to day. My gut tells me he should be ready to go, but we will see what he looks like Wednesday.”
Also listed as probable in Week 17 are guard Billy Turner and wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Turner, who’s dealing with a calf injury, had a full week of practice, while Landry’s knee allowed him to practice only on a limited basis.
Miami also detailed five additional players as questionable for the season clincher. Given all the issues the offensive line has had protecting Tannehill, Fins’ fans would be glad to know that tackle Ja’Wuan James (toe) is coming off a full week of practice and will likely resume his duties after missing his last eight games.
“I would say Ja’Wuan probably has the best chance to play off those guys,” Campbell said when asked about the playing status of James, wide receiver Rishard Matthews, defensive tackle Earl Mitchell and center Mike Pouncey. “I can’t rule all of them out or all of them in, but I would say Ja’Wuan has the best chance to play of the four.”
Also listed as questionable versus New England are guard Jamil Douglas (ankle), wide receiver Kenny Stills (thigh), and the aforementioned Earl Mitchell (calf), along with wide out Rishard Matthews (ribs).
Miami Dolphins NFL Week 17 Injury Report & Game Statuses
(QB) Ryan Tannehill (Thigh) – Full Participation in Practice
(G) Billy Turner (Calf) – Full Participation in Practice
(WR) Jarvis Landry (Knee) – Limited Participation in Practice
(G) Jamil Douglas (Ankle) – Limited Participation in Practice
(T) Ja’Wuan James (Toe) – Full Participation in Practice
(WR) Kenny Stills (Thigh) – Limited Participation in Practice
(DT) Earl Mitchell (Calf) – Limited Participation in Practice
(WR) Rishard Matthews (Ribs) – Limited Participation in Practice
(C) Mike Pouncey (Foot) – Did Not Participate In Practice
(LB) Jelani Jenkins (Ankle) – 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.