By Abraham Gutierrez
The Miami Dolphins’ stretch of two games in four days continues Thursday night as they take on the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8. On Wednesday, the Dolphins held their final practice session prior to game-time, and it’s worth noting that they will go into M&T Bank Stadium with more questions than answers.
That’s because out of the 12 players listed in the team’s official injury report, 10 are either “questionable” and/or will be a game-time decision as far as their status is concerned. The remaining two players have been ruled out, and given this week’s press conferences with head coach Adam Gase, at least one of them comes as no surprise.
Jay Cutler, Anthony Steen Ruled Out
After announcing earlier in the week that he had suffered “multiple cracked ribs,” but failing to officially rule him out, Gase finally gave in. According to the NFL Week 8 injury report, Jay Cutler (113-for-180, 995 yards, 7 TDs, 5 INTs, 78.8 QBR) joins guard Anthony Steen (6 games played: 6 starts) as the only ‘Fins players not expected to suit up Thursday night in Baltimore.
Despite the fact that the Dolphins only conducted walk-throughs due to a very short week, Cutler (ribs) and Steen (foot) did not participate in any of the days Miami used to put together their game-day preparations. They will both miss their very first game of the 2017 NFL campaign and their return remains unknown.
DeVante Parker Returns to Practice, Questionable
For the first time in two weeks, wide receiver DeVante Parker (19 catches, 236 yards, TD) took to the practice field (limited participation) and his status for Thursday night’s game is questionable.
This is particularly good news given the fact that the former Louisville standout had been listed as doubtful in the past two games he’s been forced to sit out due to an injured ankle.
“It’ll be a game-time decision,” said offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen regarding Parker’s status. “I’m hoping so. We’re all hoping.”
In Parker’s absence, Jarvis Landry (45 catches, 365 yards, 3 TDs), Kenny Stills (20 catches, 248 yards, 4 TDs) and others have stepped up their play, but at 6-foot-3, 212-pounds, his presence on the field adds another dimension to the Fins’ fragile aerial attack.
Six Dolphins will be game-time decision on TNF
Gase and his staff are being very secretive about a half-dozen players and their official game-time statuses. According to the NFL Week 8 injury report, Gase will make a ruling on center Mike Pouncey (knee/hip), cornerback Xavien Howard (shoulder), defensive end Terrence Fede (shoulder), running back Jay Ajayi (knee/elbow), tackle Ja’Wuan James (hand) and tight end Julius Thomas (knee) prior to kickoff.
There are a few noteworthy things regarding some of these players and their injuries. As far as Pouncey is concerned, the Pro Bowl center is dealing with a knee injury as well as his (usual) ongoing history of hip issues. Last week, he was under the NFL’s concussion protocol, but he surpassed that and was a key figure in Miami’s protection scheme that led to last week’s win over the hated New York Jets.
Another player detailed to be dealing with multiple injuries is arguably the key to the ‘Fins’ offensive success against the Ravens. Ajayi, who’s been dealing with a sore left knee seemingly all season, suffered an elbow injury, but it shouldn’t be too severe.
For what it’s worth, every single one of those players were able to take 100 percent of the snaps in practice this week. This is usually a good sign, but given the importance of some of the names on this list, Fins fans are sure to hold their collective breathes until it is confirmed they will all be available when Miami tries to extend its win streak to four straight games.
Miami Dolphins NFL Week 8 Injury Report & Game Statuses
- (DE) Andre Branch (Groin) –Limited Participation in Practice
- (DT) Jordan Phillips (Ankle) –Limited Participation in Practice
- (T) Laremy Tunsil (Knee) –Limited Participation in Practice
- (WR) DeVante Parker (Ankle) –Limited Participation in Practice
- (G) Anthony Steen (Foot) –Did Not Participate In Practice
- (QB) Jay Cutler (Ribs) –Did Not Participate In Practice
- (C) Mike Pouncey (Knee/Hip) –Full Participation in Practice
- (CB) Xavien Howard (Shoulder) –Full Participation in Practice
- (DE) Terrence Fede (Shoulder) –Full Participation in Practice
- (RB) Jay Ajayi (Knee/Elbow) –Full Participation in Practice
- (T) Ja’Wuan James (Hand) –Full Participation in Practice
- (TE) Julius Thomas (Knee) –Full Participation in Practice