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Dolphins Wake lost for season

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DAVIE, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins lost defensive end Cam Wake, the four-time Pro-Bowl selection, to a season-ending torn Achilles tendon in Thursday’s 36-7 loss at New England.

It’s a devastating injury for the 33-year-old Wake and the Dolphins, for now and the future, because it might represent the end of Wake’s seven-year run in Miami.

“Cam’s a true pro,” interim head coach Dan Campbell said. “But it’s tough.”

Regardless, the Dolphins (3-4), who are also expected to be without right tackle Ja’Wuan James (toe) for a few weeks, said their season isn’t over.

And, yes, they still believe in the rejuvenating powers of Campbell.

“The atmosphere is a winning atmosphere,” middle linebacker Kelvin Sheppard said, “and Dan Campbell has created that. I take my hat off to him.

“I truly believe this team is going to get back together and we’re going up to Buffalo next week to get a victory.”

Wake, who had seven sacks and four caused fumbles in the last three games after being slowed by a hamstring injury early in the season, was rushing Patriots quarterback Tom Brady when he went to the ground late in the third quarter.

He laid on his stomach, motionless and expressionless, as he waited for medical personnel to get on the field.

Wake, whose 60 sacks are second in franchise history, eventually left the field unable to put any weight on his left leg and was taken off the field and into the locker room on a cart.

Everyone had a good idea about the grim reality of the situation. Wake appeared briefly in the post-game locker room on crutches.

“We’ll get with the doctors and take it from there,” he said in a sullen tone.

While Wake’s loss will hurt greatly on the field, there’s also a psychological toll to seeing perhaps your best player carted off the field.

“It’s tough,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “You lose a Pro-Bowl player like that, a leader of this team, it’s tough to see a guy go down.”

Defensive end Derrick Shelby, who was already in the regular defensive line rotation, will likely start in Wake’s place. And there’s a chance Chris McCain, the linebacker who also plays defensive end, will get some playing time after being inactive the last two games. Look for second-year end Terrence Fede to also see his playing time increase.

As for James, that’s also a big loss. He left the locker room Thursday in a walking boot. He was replaced by Jason Fox, who filled in earlier this season when left tackle Branden Albert was out with a hamstring injury.

The Palm Beach Post reported James will miss four to six weeks. Campbell would only say it doesn’t look good for next week and there’s a chance James could miss multiple weeks.

Wide receiver DeVante Parker, the first-round pick from Louisville, also left the New England game after playing only four snaps. Parker had an injury to his surgically-repaired left foot, but both Parker and Campbell said the injury isn’t significant.

Things are rough for Miami, but players say they still have faith in Campbell, their fiery leader who preaches competition.

“He’s done a great job of doing what he can to change the culture of our team,” defensive tackle Earl Mitchell said. “Guys are going to remain optimistic, guys are going to keep fighting to get better.

“We’re still grinding, and nobody’s ashamed of coming to work, and coming in to work hard every single day.”

REPORT CARD VS. PATRIOTS

–PASSING OFFENSE: C. They allowed five sacks, and QB Ryan Tannehill (28-for-44, 300 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions) wasn’t necessarily sharp. The WRs, RBs and TEs didn’t make any spectacular yards after catch) gains, either.

–RUSHING OFFENSE: F. Miami rushed for 15 yards on 13 carries. RB Lamar Miller (nine carries, 15 yards) had four carries in the second half as the Dolphins fell behind, 22-7, in the third quarter and abandoned the run.

–PASS DEFENSE: F. QB Tom Brady (26-for-38, 356 yards, four touchdowns) shredded the defense. The line got close to Brady, recording two sacks. But the pass coverage was shaky. TE Rob Gronkowski (six receptions, 113 yards, one touchdown), RB Dion Lewis (six receptions, 93 yards, one touchdown) and WR Julian Edelman (seven receptions, 81 yards, two touchdowns) crushed their defenders.

–RUN DEFENSE: D. The Patriots rushed for 95 yards on 26 carries, averaging 3.7 yards per carry. RB LeGarrette Blount (17 carries, 72 yards, 4.2 yards per carry) had reasonable success. No defenders stood out for the Dolphins in this area.

–SPECIAL TEAMS: B. P Matt Darr (six punts, 58.2 yards per punt) was the standout although KOR Jarvis Landry had a 50-yard return. Of course, Landry also muffed a punt that went out of bounds, K Andrew Franks missed a 58-yard field-goal attempt short and left as time expired in the first half.

–COACHING: D. The Dolphins appeared to be the same sluggish team they were for the first four games of the season. They got behind, 19-0, in the first half as they seemed to be outcoached and outhustled. The infectious enthusiasm interim head coach Dan Campbell had in his first two games disappeared Thursday.


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