ORLANDO—This is the Dolphins’ most important preseason game yet, and it’s time for them to answer some questions when they hit the field in Orlando tonight against the Falcons.
Here are seven players to watch:
1. DE Cameron Wake
Is he even going to play? Wake’s been back on the practice field, but the team is still waiting for his return to live action after rehabbing a torn Achilles. Adam Gase said he will go through warm-ups, then it’s up to him to decide his status. If he’s good to go, this would be a good time to show it.
2. RB Arian Foster
It’ll take a five-yard run just to get Foster back to zero for the preseason. The starting running back job is there to take, but he hasn’t made a strong run at it yet. Jay Ajayi remains the frontrunner and is likely to start tonight.
3. DT Jordan Phillips
Seven-year veteran Earl Mitchell was projected to be the starter this season, but his calf injury has opened an opportunity for Phillips. While Mitchell should be back within a week and is expected to be healthy enough for the season opener, Phillips
4. LB Kiko Alonso
The linebacker corps has struggled overall, and Alonso had a particularly rough first half against the Cowboys. Miami also gave up 112 rushing yards on 17 carries last week, and Alonso needs to take the lead in turning that around.
5. WR Jakeem Grant
Grant is chasing multiple openings at once. He showed promise as a kick and punt returner in the Dallas game and still has a shot at making it as a receiver despite being the smallest player on the roster.
6. C Anthony Steen
Steen takes over for Mike Pouncey, who is out with a hip injury. This continues an already inconsistent summer for the offensive line personnel-wise, and Steen needs to be ready to start Week 1 in case Pouncey isn’t.
7. TE Jordan Cameron
Cameron underperformed in 2015, his first season with the Dolphins, and is off to a rough start this year. He has one catch for five yards in the preseason and dropped a sure touchdown against Dallas. Cameron seemed confident this week nonetheless, and this game could go a long way toward making the rest of the offense trust him as well.