MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 18: Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas #33 runs for yardage during a game against the Houston Texans at Sun Life Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Miami Dolphins rookie running back Daniel Thomas has missed two of the team's first four games, nursing a hamstring injury. However, even with the missed time, Thomas currently leads the team with 202 yards rushing, and 41 rushes. He trails New Orleans Saints running back by just 14 yards for the rookie rushing lead. The Dolphins need the rookie to return.
Yesterday, Miami released an updated injury list, placing Thomas as "questionable." Yet, despite the categorization, everyone, including Thomas, expect him to be on the field. "Yeah," Thomas said. "It feels very good just to know that I'm finally going to get to play. It's very encouraging and exciting, man."
With the Dolphins turning to former second-string quarterback Matt Moore to start the rest of the season after starting quarterback Chad Henne was placed on injured reserve for a separated shoulder, Thomas' presence in the offense could be a huge improvement to the Dolphins stable of weapons.
"It's tough just to miss a game and everything and having to watch the game back at home, not being able to travel," Thomas explained about his recent injury struggles. "So it's tough when you know you can be out there helping your team."
Thomas isn't alone with hamstring problems hampering game day performances. Safety Chris Clemons and cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Nolan Carroll have all been dealing with hamstring problems. That's over half of the Dolphins injury report.
"I was never hurt in college," Thomas said. "So that's why it's so tough right now. Because I'm like, ‘Why do I keep getting hurt?' But the thing about it is just me taking care of my body - hydrating before practice. That's the main reason why these injuries happen. So I've just got to do a better job with that."
The Dolphins really hope to see Thomas on the field against the Jets. New York is currently ranked 26th in the NFL against the rush, allowing 134.8 yards per game. With Moore's first start, Miami has to be hoping Thomas is able to attack the Jets' weak run defense.
Hopefully the hamstring injury, which has a way of continuing to nag a player throughout an entire season, is finally healed and allows Thomas to run, not just this weekend, but throughout the rest of the 2011 season.
The entire Dolphins' injury report is:
|Nolan Carroll||CB||Hamstring||Limited in practice|
|Chris Clemons||S||Hamstring||Limited in practice|
|Daniel Thomas||RB||Hamstring||Limited in practice|
|Will Yeatman||TE||Shoulder||Limited in practice|
|Vontae Davis||CB||Hamstring||Full practice|
|Tony McDaniel||DE||Hand||Full practice|
|Koa Misi||LB||Neck||Full pratice|
The Jets' injury report is:
|Ropati Pitoitua||DE||Knee||No practice|
|Isaiah Trufant||CB||Hamstring||No practice|
|Donald Strickland||CB||Concussion||Limited in practice|
|Logan Payne||WR||Wrist||No practice|
|Nick Mangold||C||Ankle||Limited in practice|
|Marquice Cole||CB||Hamstring||Full practice|
|Marcus Dixon||DT||Shoulder||Full practice|
|Garrett McIntyre||LB||Concussion||Full practice|
|Tanner Purdum||LS||Low Back||Full practice|
|Bart Scott||LB||Toe||Full practice|
|Martin Tevaseu||DT||Low Back||Full practice|
|LaDainian Tomlinson||RB||Calf||Full practice|
|Muhammad Wilkerson||DE||Shoulder||Full practice|