The Miami Dolphins have an extra day for preparation this week as the come off a Week 12 Sunday loss to the Denver Broncos and begin readying themselves for the New York Jets in a Week 13 Monday Night Football meeting. That extra day will, hopefully, allow the team to get just a little healthier, especially after a game that saw several key players miss at least a portion of the contest with injuries
The Dolphins opened the game with starters being placed on the inactive list due to injury, including tight end Charles Clay, who is dealing with knee and hamstring problems, and cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who has an ankle issue. Things got worse for Miami during the game, as key contributors like offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James, cornerback Jamar Taylor, and guard Dayrn Colledge.
James left the game in the second quarter after suffering a shoulder stinger. He was listed as questionable to return for the game, but never did make it back out to the field. James, who is starting at left tackle for the Dolphins as a replacement for Branden Albert who was placed on injured reserve with multiple ligament tears in his knee a few weeks ago. James was replaced by Jason Fox, who actually held his own against the Broncos' DeMarcus Ware.
Taylor came out of the game in the third quarter, and was clearly in pain on the sideline. The trainers attempted to move his arm, focusing on the shoulder area, but eventually were forced to put Taylor in a cart and take him back to the locker room. He was replaced by Lowell Rose, a practice squad player who was called up to the 53-man roster mid-way through October.
Rose was eventually pulled out of the game and replaced at cornerback by rookie Walt Aikens. The Dolphins drafted Aikens out of Liberty University in the fourth round of the 2014 Draft. After playing cornerback in college, Miami has been transitioning him into a safety role at the NFL level.
Colledge returned to the Miami starting lineup after missing the past three games with a back injury. He and reserve guard Shelley Smith appeared to be alternating series early in the game before Colledge was pulled completely.
Linebacker Koa Misi missed some playing time, though he was never confirmed to have sustained an injury.
The Dolphins face the New York Jets on December 1. Finnegan and Clay could be ready to return by then, as could James. The seriousness of Taylor's shoulder injury is not yet known, though, after the game, it was not thought to be season ending.