Miami Dolphins’ Adam Gase found it hard to take ball out of Kenyan Drake’s hands

Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake had 23 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

DAVIE — Somewhere in the record books of Hillgrove High in Georgia, Kenyan Drake figures there’s an instance of when he truly was a workhorse running back.

Until Sunday, there was no evidence of that in Miami, where the most attempts he had in an NFL game was nine, accomplished three times.

But Sunday, with Jay Ajayi long gone and Damien Williams injured, everything was placed on the shoulders of Drake. Or, to be more accurate, his legs. That wasn’t by design, coach Adam Gase said, but rather by necessity.

“We’re always going to go in there thinking that we’re not going to have one guy just carry the load,” Gase said.

It became obvious as the day wore on that that Drake was wearing down the Broncos. Late in the third quarter, he busted loose for a 42-yard touchdown en route to a career-best 120-yard performance. Drake averaged 5.2 yards per carry and caught three passes for 21 yards.

There were only seven rushing plays by the Dolphins in their 35-9 victory that did not involve Drake. His backup, Senorise Perry, had five rushes for 22 yards.

“We had some other packages that we were going to try to take a little off him,” Gase said.

Drake didn’t seem to mind.

“I think one time in high school I ran the ball like 25 times, but other than that, I don’t think I’ve ever run the ball that much in my life,” Drake said. “I could have run it 20 more times the way the O-line was blocking. I feel like I’m built for this.”

In the four games since Ajayi was traded to Philadelphia, Drake has had a 42-yard run against Oakland, a 66-yard touchdown run against Carolina and now the 42-yarder in which he juked past linebacker Brandon Marshall.

“It was good to really just get Drake going a little bit,” Gase said. “He had the safety one on one unblocked a couple of times and made him miss and created some explosive plays.”

For the season, Drake is averaging 4.9 yards per carry to Williams’ 3.9. The Dolphins plan to monitor Williams this week to see if his shoulder is sufficiently healed to play against the Patriots.

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