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Dolphins bubble watch: Post-preseason game 1 update

NFL: Preseason-Miami Dolphins at New York Giants William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins beat the New York Giants on Friday night to win their first preseason game of the 2016 schedule. The game was not always pretty, especially when the first team offense was on the field. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was constantly under pressure on his four pass attempts, and the team failed to pick up a first down on two possessions.

The depth players, both on offense and defense, eventually found a rhythm, however, and came up with some points and turnovers, respectively, answering New York’s 10-0 lead with 27 unanswered points of their own. What did the game do to the “roster bubble?” We take a look at what might have changed after the game.

8/6 Roster Bubble Watch:

1. Brandon Doughty, quarterback
2. Damien Williams, running back
3. Terrence Fede, defensive end
4. Griff Whalen, wide receiver
5. Jordan Lucas, cornerback

Post-Preseason Game 1 (8/14) Roster Bubble:

1. Brandon Doughty, quarterback

Doughty remains on the roster bubble, despite fans seeming to think he is the next coming of Dan Marino after Friday’s game. He successfully went 7-for-9 for 66 yards, and he did look like a good investment for the Dolphins. The problem may simply be one of numbers. Can Miami keep three quarterbacks on the roster, or will they need to use the roster spot for someone else? At this point, Doughty is getting closer to being on the 53-man roster, but it is not definite yet.

2. Daniel Thomas, running back

Thomas actually looked good as the last running back into the game for the Dolphins. The problem, however, is that he was the last running back into the game (though he did have the same number of carries as Isaiah Pead, tied for the game high at ten apiece). Jay Ajayi started, followed by Damien Williams and Pead. With Arian Foster and Kenyan Drake still to add to the game-day roster, Thomas being the last option at this point does not lend itself toward projecting a roster spot for the veteran.

3. Jordan Lucas, cornerback

The cornerback position is a hard one to predict at this point for the Dolphins, but Lucas still appears to be on the bubble of making the roster. Assuming Byron Maxwell, Tony Lippett, Bobby McCain, and Xavien Howard are set to make the roster, the positions at the end of the roster are getting tight. Lucas might be a little closer to making the roster than he was last week, but he is still on the bubble.

4. Griff Whalen, wide receiver

Whalen could very easily make the roster, but he might be on the wrong side of the cut line right now. Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, and Kenny Stills are the three starters, with rookie Leonte Carroo and Jakeem Grant looking to be roster locks as well. That probably only leaves one available roster position – if Miami keeps six receivers – for Whalen or Matt Hazel. Hazel caught one pass for 51 yards and a touchdown (granted, it was on a pass intended for A.J. Cruz, but it is still Hazel’s stat line) while Whalen did not record a reception. Looking at the snap counts, Whalen played five offensive snaps and eight special teams snaps, while Hazel played 17 offensive snaps and six special teams snaps. If Miami can find a way to keep seven receivers, both of them probably make it. For now, Whalen remains on the bubble.

5. Jamil Douglas, offensive lineman

Douglas showed promise last year, but seems to be buried on the depth chart this year. Maybe it is the coaching staff trying to push him, or maybe he really is in danger of not making the roster. He played 40 snaps on Friday, or 59 percent of the Dolphins’ offensive plays, but he has not been noticed much this summer – which some would say is a good thing since he is an offensive lineman – and that could be a bad sign for him.