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Dolphins roster bubble watch: Final preseason game edition

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The Miami Dolphins head into their final preseason game with some tough decisions ahead of them. The final round of roster cuts are coming due this weekend, and there are players who are sitting right on the roster bubble for the 53-man roster.

NFL: Preseason-Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins, and all 31 other NFL teams, are currently utilizing the NFL’s 75-man interim roster limit, but the 53-man roster limit is coming this weekend. The Dolphins will face some tough choices this weekend as they look to come up with the final regular season roster. In those tough choices, the Dolphins currently have several players firmly on the roster bubble.

These players all seem to be victims of the numbers game, with the team having to make choices between position groups where the team may need more depth, and talented individual players who may deserve a spot on the roster. The team will make those final decisions by Saturday, and they have one final preseason game, tonight’s game against the Tennessee Titans, to assist them in making those choices.

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

8/14 Roster Bubble Watch:

1. Brandon Doughty, quarterback
2. Daniel Thomas, running back
3. Jordan Lucas, cornerback
4. Griff Whalen, wide receiver
5. Jamil Douglas, offensive lineman

8/18 Roster Bubble Watch:

1. Brandon Doughty, quarterback
2. Griff Whalen, wide receiver
3. Jordan Lucas, cornerback
4. Earl Mitchell, defensive tackle
5. Chimdi Chekwa, cornerback

8/25 Bubble Watch:

1. Earl Mitchell, defensive tackle
2. Chris McCain, defensive end
3. Jamil Douglas, center
4. Griff Whalen, wide receiver
5. James-Michael Johnson, linebacker

Who is on the bubble? We take a look at some of the players we see on the bubble as of now.

Preseason Game 4 (9/1) Bubble Watch:

1. Damien Williams, running back.

Williams would appear to be on the roster, but maybe only because Isaiah Pead is injured right now. Williams has shown some potential, but he has been outplayed by Pead and the team is going to keep Jay Ajayi and Arian Foster, while Kenyan Drake should be on the roster due to his draft status. The Dolphins should be looking to keep four running backs, which would make Williams safely on the roster - until Pead is healthy. Miami could, theoretically, look to keep just three running backs if they need a roster space elsewhere, but that would not be a safe move given the injury history of Ajayi, Foster, and Drake.

2. Brandon Doughty / Zac Dysert, quarterback.

The Dolphins may only keep two quarterbacks, which makes both Doughty and Dysert on the bubble. Doughty appeared to be ahead of Dysert early in camp and the preseason, but Dysert has come on lately and could be pushing for either the third roster spot or the practice squad position that could be available. Matt Moore’s concussion appeared to make a third quarterback a needed spot, but he has returned and the team could use the roster spot elsewhere.

3. Griff Whalen, wide receiver.

Whalen remains one of the most difficult people to figure out when it comes to roster positioning. He is playing with the first team at times, but he has made mistakes at times as well. The Dolphins will keep Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Leonte Carroo, and Jakeem Grant, which means Whalen is trying to earn the sixth position. Will the Dolphins even keep a sixth spot? Whalen may have to prove something on Thursday to land that roster spot.

4. Jordan Phillips, defensive tackle.

Phillips has simply disappeared this year, which is surprising given his progression last year. Ndamukong Suh will start, with Earl Mitchell or Julius Warmsley next to him and the other as the primary reserve. Phillips could fill the fourth spot, but the Dolphins could look to either find a free agent/released player later or move someone like James Jones inside. Phillips needs to make an impression on Thursday to solidify any spot on the roster.

5. Jamil Douglas, center

Douglas is buried on the depth chart, and he may or may not be able to get out of it. He is the third center on the roster, and the team may only have space for Mike Pouncey and Anthony Steen, with one of the other linemen filling the role as an emergency center. The seriousness of Pouncey’s injury may be Douglas’ best shot on making the roster.