One running back in, one running back out.
That’s the situation for the Dolphins pertaining to the concussion protocol, as Jay Ajayi was officially cleared to fully return to team activities. However, his backup Kenyan Drake was just diagnosed with a concussion and has now entered the protocol himself after taking a hard helmet-to-helmet hit during practice on Monday.
Ajayi took two weeks to clear the protocol after taking a hard hit of his own in early August. It’s unclear whether he’ll participate in Thursday’s preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, but even if he does, expect coach Adam Gase to be very careful with his star runner. Now that Jay Cutler is holding the rains to Miami’s offense, Ajayi will no doubt be even more of a focal point for this offense than he was ever going to be.
Drake on the other hand, will absolutely not play on Thursday night. After suffering a litany of injuries back at Alabama, the young runner was finally healthy for a full season during his rookie year with the Dolphins. The coaching staff will certainly hope that trend continues this season, as Drake ran for an astounding 5.4 yards per carry in limited work last year. Should he recover at a reasonable timetable from his concussion, there will be no worry of Drake missing the opening week of the regular season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.