The Miami Dolphins have reached their first off day of training camp, giving the players a rest day Wednesday before starting practices again on Thursday. Earlier today, we took the down day as a chance to update the Dolphins’ depth chart, trying to find where some of the changes may have happened during the first week of camp.
Now, we take a look at specific winners and losers from the first week.
WR Jakeem Grant - The rookie may have had the best first week of any player on the team. He is making people realize just how dangerous he is with the ball in his hands, and he is going to end up making it hard for the Dolphins coaching staff to not get him involved in the offense this year. His size will continue to be a concern, especially once preseason games starts and the hitting goes up another notch, but if Grant can continue to move around like he has been in the first week, the Dolphins may have an incredible weapon on their hands. He has double clutched some of the passes and punts that have come his way, but overall, it was a good week for Grant.
Defensive line - Miami’s defensive line held themselves in check during the first three days of training camp, then, when the pads came on for the fourth practice, so did the pressure. Cameron Wake, Mario Williams, Ndamukong Suh, Chris McCain, Jason Jones, etc., etc. McCain may be the biggest winner of the group, but as a whole, the defensive line took it to the offensive line. Now it will be up to the offensive line to respond, and the defensive line to show that they can keep this type of pressure up all season.
RB Arian Foster - The Dolphins signed Foster to be the veteran in the running backs group and push presumed starter Jay Ajayi. After the first week, Ajayi is on the sideline with a bone bruise to his knee, Foster has come off the Physically Unable to Perform list and found his way up the depth chart to taking the majority of the first team reps. When Ajayi comes back, the competition will continue between the two, but Foster seems to be trying hard to make sure it is a competition and not just the veteran pushing Ajayi from the second position on the depth chart.
G Billy Turner - The offensive line has not had a great first week, but Turner appears to be well ahead of anyone else in the battle for the starting right guard position. The coaches seem impressed with his play thus far, and he could be well on his way to locking himself into the starting role.
CB Xavien Howard - Howard has had to start his rookie training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list after having a knee scope this summer. He will likely be back in a week or two, but that is important practice time he is missing. Howard was expected to claim the starting spot opposite Byron Maxwell, but that appears to be a long-shot now, and the Dolphins are trying to find an answer for the position.
DE Dion Jordan - Jordan should be in the winners list after being reinstated following his 15-month suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The problem is, he reported to camp and had to be placed on the Non-Football Injury after having to have his knee cleaned - similar to what Howard had to have done. Jordan needs to get back on the field, but for now, he is still not able to fully re-join his teammates and start working his way into a roster spot.
CB Tony Lippett - The PUP listing for Howard should have opened the door for Lippett, but rather than kick it open and storm his way into the starting lineup, he hesitated in the door frame and allowed Chimdi Chekwa to work his way into first team reps. Lippett has simply been inconsistent early in camp, and he has to improve that in order to lock down a position that is ripe for the taking.
K Marshall Koehn - Brought in to challenge Andrew Franks as the team’s kicker, Koehn has struggled and this appears to be a completed position battle at this point.