We can’t say tonight’s game at Minnesota will be worth tuning in for.
But if you are a diehard Dolphins fan, it may be interesting to see the likely second- and third-stringers competing against similar competition in what should be a glorified scrimmage.
Shall there be no more injuries.
And shall the regular-season kickoff get here quickly.
That said, it would be nice if the Dolphins saw some positive results from these three positions of concern:
While there are many Dolphins starters who clearly won’t play a snap tonight, it will be interesting to see how many snaps projected starter Byron Maxwell and third corner Alterraun Verner play. Because Miami opens against Tampa Bay, it would seem Miami would want to match Maxwell against Mike Evans in the opener. But Maxwell really struggled in practice and in the preseason game against Philadelphia and Verner suddenly emerged as a viable candidate to start. Maxwell has had trouble with speed. Verner has a tendency to stay closer to receivers. Tonight should also be an good opportunity for rookie Cordrea Tankersley (#30) (like Maxwell, a product of Clemson) and undrafted rookie Torry McTyer (#5), who has impressed in camp, to take meaningful reps.
Veteran Rey Maualuga wants to play tonight, though it doesn’t seem he’s close to game-ready from a conditioning standpoint. Maualuga hasn’t worn a number in practice, which is very odd considering he’s been around for minute. He’d like #58, but Brandon Watts is still on the roster, for now. If Mike Hull is Miami’s starting middle linebacker in the season-opener, tonight is a good chance to show he can shed blocks and bring down the likes of Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. Chase Allen, an undrafted linebacker from Southern Illinois, could be one of very last roster decisions coach Adam Gase makes. And Allen (#59), whose speed is worth watching tonight, feels if he makes it could come down to this game. Former CFL linebacker Deon Lacey (#44) is probably in the same position.
In the last preseason game, second-year lineman Anthony Steen started at left guard, ahead of Jesse Davis. Pay attention to Davis (#77) tonight. He is listed as the second-team right tackle on your depth chart, but he could very well start the opener. Davis is 6-feet-6, 321 pounds and two years ago he was out of football, repairing farm equipment in the Far West. But coaches feel he has potential. Also make note of rookie guard Isaac Asiata (#68). It would seem Asiata has a place on the team, though his performance has been uneven. Asiata has looked really strong on some running plays but needs to continue to refine his pass protection skills.
Join our reporters for a special evening as they talk NFL with Dolphins Pro Bowl Guard Jermon Bushrod, two-time Super Bowl champion Bob Kuechenberg and former Dolphins Pro Bowl linebacker Kim Bokamperon Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Bokamper’s Fort Lauderdale. The event is free to the first 100 people and will include raffles, light bites and drinks.