The Miami Dolphins on Tuesday held the last scheduled practice before the team's first preseason game later this week. The workout was again in full pads for the Dolphins, who will take Wednesday off before their Thursday contest against the Chicago Bears.
The highlight of practice may not have been any individual play or drill, but Branden Albert's presence during the day. The starting left tackle for Miami has been limited throughout the offseason and training camp as he recovers from a torn ACL and MCL in his knee, an injury he suffered mid-way through last season. Albert's work load increased on Tuesday, a day that saw him participate in some of the position group drills.
The offensive line continues to be the biggest question mark on the team. The majority of the first team repetitions at the guard spots went to Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner, who appear set to start in Thursday's game. Jamil Douglas will likely see time during the game at left guard, replacing Thomas, but Turner could see most of the playing time at right guard, as the team looks for consistency from the second-year pro.
The defense had more success on Tuesday, including Brent Grimes and Zack Bowman both recording an interception of Ryan Tannehill. Jamar Taylor, who appears set to be the starting cornerback opposite Grimes, took nearly all of the first-team snaps as Brice McCain was limited during the practice. Taylor and receiver Rishad Matthews threw punches at each other mid-way through the practice, but safety Louis Delmas broke up the fight and practice continued.
One offensive line move of note during the practice was Thomas sliding into the starting left-tackle position for a few snaps. It was likely a move just to ensure the team has depth in case something happens during the season, but it was a notable move.
A concerning issue showed up on Tuesday, with several bobble or fumbled snaps. Tannehill and backup Matt Moore both seemed to have issues with the center-to-quarterback exchange. Maybe it was just an off day, but it was odd.
Practice ended with a funny moment. Coach Joe Philbin told the team that he would cancel the afternoon walk through if rookie defensive tackle Jordan Phillips could catch a punt. Phillips was forced to move across the field chasing a knuckling punt, but he did cleanly catch it.
Running back Jay Ajayi, wide receiver Christion Jones, linebacker Koa Misi, and wide receiver Kenny Stills did not practice due to injuries.