The Dolphins lost to the Bills on Sunday and it is interesting to think about some of the players that may have been in play if not for injury: Ryan Tannehill, Damien Williams, Ja’Wuan James, Jermon Bushrod, Andre Branch, William Hayes, Raekwon McMillan, Tony Lippett and Michael Thomas.
Every NFL team has injuries, but certainly the loss of the starting quarterback, middle linebacker, right tackle, two of the top four defensive ends and the best special teams player on the team didn’t make things any easier.
That said, who received more snaps on account of all these injuries, and how did they do? Who played surprisingly few snaps? Let’s take a look:
- Charles Harris (43 snaps, 68 percent). Harris nearly doubled his snap total from the previous week and he had his second highest total of the season. Playing opposite mentor Cam Wake, with Andre Branch out, Harris showed the explosiveness, speed and pursuit that led Miami to draft him in the first round. Harris had 6 quarterback pressures, 2 quarterback hits and 2 stops, according to Pro Football Focus, which cited him as the NFL’s most productive edge rusher this week.
- Kenyan Drake (72 snaps, 96 percentage). Drake had a season-high in snap count for a fifth consecutive week. At times, Drake’s body movements reminded of the Bills running back, LeSean McCoy. Drake is third in the NFL in yards after contact and second in total snaps and forced missed tackles, according to PFF. What we see is a maturing player capable of rushing inside or out, turning on a burst defenders can’t match and capably blocking and receiving, as well.
- Sam Young (75 snaps, 100 percent). Very quietly, Young has done a nice job for three straight weeks on the right side of Miami’s offensive line, alongside emerging Jesse Davis. If anything, Young seems more comfortable at right tackle than left. Young has done a nice job in pass protection and at this point, there’s really no need to change anything on right side of Miami’s line for the final two games. It’s worth considering bringing back Young as a free agent backup next season.
- Stephone Anthony (20 snaps, 32 percent). Anthony had three tackles in less playing time than Lawrence Timmons, who had four. It seemed a few times Anthony was involved in coverage on completed passes by the Bills. Anthony was definitely involved on a touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor to LeSean McCoy. It would be hard to say that Anthony has shown enough thus far to say that he deserves a chance to start in 2018. But these last two games could be very important to his future.
- Jordan Phillips (22 snaps, 35 percent). Phillips matched a season-low with 22 snaps, so one wonders if he was dealing with any physical ailment, notably an ankle that has been troubling at times. Davon Godchaux saw a big increase in snaps and posted two tackles, which Phillips did not record any. Phillips’ big issue throughout his career has been consistency so after two consecutive big weeks it was a big disappointing to not recall seeing much from Phillips on Sunday.