The Miami Dolphins are on to their second week of training camp, preparing for the 2016 season. The team will move into a scrimmage tonight - a invite only event - before their second off day of camp. As the team continues to progress toward the regular season, the 53-man roster cuts are slowly approaching. While the deadline for those final roster decisions are not scheduled until September 3, the “bubble” is still something to watch.
Who is on the roster bubble? We take a look at some of the names who could be among those final players on the roster or on the wrong side of the cut line.
1. Brandon Doughty, quarterback
A seventh-round pick for the Dolphins, Doughty is making a case for himself early in camp to be a rostered player, rather than a practice squad member. He is frustrating coaches at times, with head coach Adam Gase explaining this week, “He figures out a way to get completions. I always tell him, it happened today like three times, ‘I have no idea what your progression is but somehow, somebody caught the ball.’ A guy like that, he’s so calm. Nothing rattles him.” But, it seems to be a good frustration, where they just cannot seem to explain why he works. If he keeps this up, Miami might be forced to keep three quarterbacks on the roster, just to protect Doughty from being poached as a developmental quarterback somewhere else.
2. Damien Williams, running back
At the end of the offseason training program, Williams appeared to be a lock to be the third running back on the roster. The addition of Arian Foster and Williams starting training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list seems to have pushed him down the depth chart, potentially behind Isaiah Pead and Daniel Thomas. At this point, Thomas seems to be positioning himself for the final running back position, with Pead possibly taking that spot if he can return from injury. Williams, meanwhile, might be on the wrong side of the cut line right now.
3. Terrence Fede, defensive end
Fede has a lot of talent and should be able to claim a roster spot, but a defensive end position group that includes Cameron Wake, Mario Williams, Andre Branch, Chris McCain, and Jason Jones, all of whom appear to be ahead of Fede at this point, makes a roster spot hard for the third-year player. He lined up some inside this week, working as a pass rushing defensive tackle, which could signal the team trying to find a way to keep him on the roster, but the depth of the defensive end position right now keeps Fede on the bubble for now.
4. Griff Whalen, wide receiver
The Dolphins signed Whalen to be a special teams option this year, as well as providing depth at wide receiver. Then, they drafted Jakeem Grant and Kenyan Drake, both of whom could take returner duties this season, and the team is staked at wide receiver with Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Leonte Carroo, and Grant all ahead of Whalen on the depth chart. That could mean Whalen is simply on the wrong side of the numbers game. If Grant does not adapt to being a punt returner, Whalen could play himself into a roster position, but the Dolphins seem to be looking at Grant for the top returner, and could still use Landry if necessary.
5. Jordan Lucas, cornerback
A sixth-round pick by the Dolphins this year, Lucas has struggled when given the opportunity this year. He is young, and spent last year playing safety at Penn State, but he is not taking advantage of Xavien Howard’s injury and inconsistent play in front of him on the depth chart. Lucas needs to turn it on to claim a roster spot in a position group that is not exactly the most dominant one on the roster.