EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 17: Daniel Thomas #33 of the Miami Dolphins runs the ball against David Harris #52 and Bart Scott #57 of the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 17, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
The Miami Dolphins have been dealing with their fair share of injuries so far this season. One of the players having the most trouble staying on the field has been rookie running back Daniel Thomas. Thomas has missed three of Miami's first seven games with a hamstring injury, and is listed as questionable heading in to this week's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Thomas is a needed part of the offense. The second-round draft choice has proven his power running ability, able to hit the hole and break tackles. However, with Thomas' absence last week, starting running back Reggie Bush collected just his second career 100-yard performance, and Bush's role is expected to continue to grow this week.
The Chiefs have the 24th ranked rushing defense, giving up over 125 yards per game.
Thomas, despite the "questionable" tag, believes he will play this weekend. "I feel good," Thomas told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "I went through practice the whole week. Held up pretty well. So I'll be ready to go Sunday.
"It's pretty frustrating, doing that - playing one game and missing two and everything," continued Thomas. "So I'm just ready to go out there and play, finally."
The Dolphins could really use the rookie. Last week, they relied on Steve Slaton as the complimentary back to Bush. Slaton, who was picked up off waivers from the Houston Texans earlier this year, had spent every week with the Dolphins on the inactive list until last week. Slaton carried the ball 5 times against the New York GIants, gaining 7 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Thomas is averaging 4.0 yards per carry - and, if he stays healthy, could actually eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. The Dolphins rookie rushing record for a season is 1,116 yards set in 1996 by Karim Abdul Jabar.
The game this week is a kind of homecoming for Thomas. The running back played for the Kansas State Wildcats in 2009 and 2010 before being drafted by the Dolphins.