It’s never looked bleaker for Dolphins center Mike Pouncey than the past year or so. Coming off a season in which he started late and left early because of recurring hip problems, he had to wade into the preseason.
All the caution by him and the team paid off. Pouncey played all 16 games and led the offense by taking part in 93.6 percent of the snaps according to Pro Football Reference’s numbers. It was the most Pouncey has played since 2012, marking huge progress in his health status and boosting the outlook for what he might have left going into next season at 29.
“(Playing) 16 has been the only thing that has been on my mind, to be honest with you,” he said going into the season finale.
Pouncey didn’t crack 80 percent in any of the three previous seasons. In ’12, the first year Pro Football Reference began tracking this stat, he played 99.6 percent of the time.
After Pouncey, wide receiver Kenny Stills’ playing time continues to run in step with the amount of trust he’s built with the coaches. When Miami acquired him in 2015, he played just 57.6 percent of the snaps under Joe Philbin and Dan Campbell. That number shot to 83.9 percent in Adam Gase’s first year and 90.6 this season.
Stills produced, too, finishing second on the team in catches (58), yards (847) and touchdowns (six).
Left tackle Laremy Tunsil played 90.1 percent (up nearly six percentage points from last year), and Jarvis Landry was fourth at 89.6 percent. Landry was at 94.1 percent last season.
Running back Kenyan Drake got 45.8 percent of the total snaps, which was way up from the 11.5 he got his rookie year. He topped 90 percent three times in December, after the team had traded Jay Ajayi and lost Damien Williams to a dislocated shoulder. Drake also played 31 percent of the total special teams plays.
On the downside, wide receiver DeVante Parker had another frustrating season in terms of availability. He played 65.1 percent of the snaps, missing three-plus games due to injury. Parker was on the field 77.5 percent of the time last year after posting a 45.6 as a rookie.
Offensive linemen Jermon Bushrod (99.8 percent) and Ja’Wuan James (98.6) were the top two last year, but neither was able to come close to those numbers because of injuries this season.
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