The Miami Dolphins are back on the practice field following their one off week during the 2013 NFL season. The top story line during the bye week had to be getting the team healthy, especially on defense, as player after player, and starter after starter, seemed to get hurt in the first five games of the season. With the team back, will we see a healthier team now?
The media is only allowed to view the beginning of each practice, so it is impossible to know for sure who completed the full workout, but we can at least get a feel for who might be practicing and who might not. According to the Palm Beach Post's Andrew Abramson, two players who did not appear to be present for the team were defensive tackle Paul Soliai and tight end Michael Egnew.
Soliai has missed time this season already, dealing with a knee injury. He was injured during the team's Week 2 game at the Indianapolis Colts, then was forced to sit out against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3. He was limited against the New Orleans Saints in his Week 4 return, only playing 22 snaps, before appearing to be 100% and playing 50 snaps against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5.
Egnew, meanwhile, has not been dealing with a known injury, so him not practicing is a new situation.
Abramson also reported that defensive end Cameron Wake was participating in the early drills for the team, while the South Florida Sun Sentinel's Omar Kelly reported that cornerback Dimitri Patterson has returned to practice. Wake has missed the majority of the last three games for Miami with a knee injury. He was injured against the Falcons, missing the most of the game, then was forced to sit out the Saints game, before starting but only playing three snaps against the Ravens.
Patterson has only made one appearance this season, starting the opening game against the Cleveland Browns. During the game, Patterson recorded two interceptions, but also injured his groin. He has been unable to play since. Cornerback Nolan Carroll has started in his place, and is playing pretty well. If Patterson is able to get back on the field, the Dolphins secondary should improve drastically, with Brent Grimes, Carroll, and Patterson covering the top three spots on the depth chart, and safety Jimmy Wilson able to return to playing his primary position, rather than serving as the nickel cornerback.
Finally, Abramson also reported that linebacker Dannell Ellerbe worked on the side with trainers, rather than in the drills. Ellerbe has been dealing with a pectoral/ribs injury this season, as well as a shoulder injury suffered against the Ravens. He has been able to play through the ribs issue, but was limited to just 16 snaps against the Ravens thanks to the shoulder.
Other pre-bye week injuries to watch this week include Carroll, who injured his ribs against the Ravens, and linebacker Koa Misi, who is battling a shoulder problem.
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