Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey to start Thursday night

Mike Pouncey is on board with Adam Gase’s plan to limit his activity before the season begins. But Pouncey is starting Thursday night. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

PHILADELPHIA — Mike Pouncey is going to start in Thursday night’s preseason game, according to coach Adam Gase.

The Miami Dolphins will have their captain and center back in the huddle for the first time since last November 13 at San Diego.

Gase had proclaimed in the spring that Pouncey was going to be protected by “bubble wrap.”

“I’m starting to run out of wrap,” Pouncey said after practice on Tuesday. “I won’t lie to you. We’ll see if Thursday I play. If I play then the bubble wrap is officially gone.”

Pouncey spoke to media before Gase confirmed Pouncey would start, though how long the center plays will be a gut decision for the coach.

Pouncey’s return from hip problems has been a gradual climb.

“I feel great,” Pouncey said. “I feel really good. Better than what I expected at this point, because of the extent of the injury. But it feels great to be back out there playing football. Yesterday’s practice was a big confidence booster. ”

Pouncey went hard in Monday’s practice and did not participate in practice on Tuesday.

“As a football player, you want to be out there every single day,” Pouncey said. “But I think the plan that our physical trainers put in place. It’s been awesome. Right now we’re kind of on an every-other-day kind of plan. It’s really worked really well. Because we’ll see how the rest of training camp goes.”

Pouncey was very aggressive in Monday’s practice.

He said he’d grade himself an “A.”

Gase hasn’t been sure he wanted Pouncey to play in the preseason, but the player has really pushed for it.

“We’ll play it by ear a little bit,” Gase said. “It’s gonna be a lot of communication between me and him. Right now we’re gonna start the game with him and see how it goes. I just wanted to make sure I got my last confirmation from him that he was ready to go and wanted to play in a preseason game, but we’ll play it by ear. I’ll go by gut a little bit.”

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