DAVIE–The Dolphins’ defense has survived without three starting linebackers and two defensive backs, and coordinator Vance Joseph has been very impressed by the back-ups stepping up.
Here are the updates from his weekly press conference:
— The Dolphins think they’ll get linebacker Kiko Alonso (hamstring) and cornerback Xavien Howard (knee) back for Saturday’s game at the Jets. “We’re hopeful,” Joseph said.
— Starting linebacker Jelani Jenkins (knee) remains a question mark.
— Joseph isn’t too worried about the overall run defense, but he’s a little flummoxed by the Dolphins getting beat twice on 50-yard reverses.
— Getting defensive tackle Jason Jones back from suspension “was huge” for the Dolphins because he’s one of the faster inside rushers.
— Regarding all the new players jumping in,
— The Dolphins decided Tuesday they would not activate defensive end Dion Jordan from the Non-Football Injury list. He practiced three weeks, but ultimately his surgically repaired knee wasn’t strong enough. “Dion showed us he’s a good athlete who can help us in the future,” Joseph said. “He’s lacking healthy. We tried to get him moving physically and he just wasn’t ready and the time ran out… He’s got a bright future.”
— Joseph sees a lot of good qualities in Jets quarterback Bryce Petty. “He’s no stiff back there,” he said. He mentioned Petty’s running ability and strong arm.
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