DAVIE—On one side of Sunday’s game, the Bills will be doing everything they possibly can to go for the win. As for the Dolphins, there’s no telling what kind of lineup they’ll send out for a game that means nothing to them in the standings.
Miami coach Adam Gase was realistic about that dynamic when he spoke before today’s practice, saying he will consider using some younger players as he prepares for Buffalo. He did not offer any specifics, though, beyond saying he will keep Jay Cutler in place as the starting quarterback.
“Well, first of all, we have to figure out who’s gonna be healthy,” Gase said. “We do have some guys banged up and we’ve had to make some roster moves. If we can put certain guys in the game that we haven’t played yet, that’s always great. We have to see how the week goes, who’s available, and go from there.
“I’m sure all of us would like to see certain guys play that we haven’t had a chance to play, but at the same time, there’s other guys that earned those spots for a reason.”
There are several candidates worthy of playing time, and it’d be useful for the Dolphins to get those players snaps against Buffalo’s first-string units.
At linebacker, Stephone Anthony is a reserve who has impressed the staff on the practice field. Defensive end Charles Harris would be a logical choice to start as well, especially considering Andre Branch continues to play through injury.
Offensively, tight ends A.J. Derby and Thomas Duarte are intriguing prospects who haven’t had much opportunity. There are a few linemen as well, including rookie Isaac Asiata and center Jake Brendel. Asiata has not dressed for a game all year, and Brendel logged just 52 snaps.
At quarterback, Cutler is the starter but might not play deep into the game. Gase could consider going with 27-year-old David Fales, whom he believes has the potential to develop into a consistent NFL quarterback. Matt Moore has been inactive the last four games.
“We’ll kinda see how the game goes,” Gase said. “Jay hasn’t done anything to come out, no reason for him to come out of the game right now.”
Cutler has completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 2,660 yards with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He has an 80.9 passer rating, which ranks 26th among 33 qualifying quarterbacks.
A few regulars besides Cutler seem extremely likely to play.
Jarvis Landry, for example, is vying for the franchise record for catches (he needs seven to tie it) and has a chance to lead the league in that category this year. Also, defensive end Cameron Wake is one sack away from his fifth double-digit season.
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