NFL Wire News

Dolphins already impacted by injuries


The Sports Xchange

DAVIE, Fla. — Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin did not have much to say about the two injuries his team absorbed late last week. Wide receiver DeVante Parker had surgery to replace a screw in his left foot, and kicker Caleb Sturgis is sidelined with a thigh injury to his left (non-kicking) leg after participating in a team-sanctioned kickball game.

In their places the Dolphins used wide receiver Rishard Matthews and undrafted rookie kicker Andrew Franks. They were OK, but the Dolphins need their starters. Sturgis should be back by training camp in late July. Parker should be ready for the Sept. 13 opener at Washington but no one seems sure when he’ll return to practice.

Philbin refused to say whether he considered Sturgis’ injury a strange occurrence or a poorly chosen activity.

“I would just tell you that everything that we do is for a reason or there’s a purpose behind everything we do,” Philbin said, “and we’ll continue to give thought to every single minute that these guys spend in here is valuable time.”

Franks, who attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., was 4-for-5 on field goals attempts Monday.

“His leg has some juice to it,” Philbin said.

Parker, a first-round pick from Louisville, was having an outstanding offseason. He caught almost every pass thrown in his direction, ran good routes, showed good speed and knew how to use his 6-foot-3 frame.

However, the foot ailment that kept him out for the first seven games of his senior season at Louisville crept up again.

“It’s tough,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “I think we all built a lot of confidence in him in the few weeks that we were able to work with him. Just his natural ability, his playmaking is off the charts.

“So we have a ton of confidence in him and it’s tough to lose him right now, but he’ll be back, ready to go in no time.”

Matthews, who missed the first day of the offseason program because he was unhappy with his situation, had a good day Monday, especially in the two-minute-offense drill where he was a frequent target.

“Rishard’s practiced well, he really has,” Philbin said. “He catches the ball with his hands. I know that sounds like a crazy thing for a head coach in the NFL to say about a wide receiver in the National Football League, but I think he really does a good job of catching the ball with his hands. He’s not a body catcher. His play speed has been relatively good.”

The defense was ahead of the offense once again Monday, which has been the case every day of OTAs (Organized Team Activities) have been open for the media to watch. The Dolphins worked largely on two-minute offense and defense, and their goal-line offense and defense on Monday.

The defensive backs even seemed to be working on a dance they might break out after big plays. Tannehill, in a humorous effort to rile up his defensive teammates, claims he didn’t notice.

“I didn’t see their dance moves,” he quipped. “Maybe because they didn’t intercept any passes.”

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