The Miami Dolphins may be without starting running back Raheem Mostert on Sunday when they host the Houston Texans. According to head coach Mike McDaniel, Mostert is facing an “uphill battle” to be ready for the Week 12 contest as he continues to deal with a knee injury that has sidelined him in practice all week. Mostert has appeared in all 10 games for Miami this season, starting eight of them, and has 543 rushing yards on 118 carries with three touchdowns; he has also caught 17 passes for 119 yards and a score.
“If he doesn’t [play], he’ll be close,” McDaniel expounded. “But we’ll just have to do the smart thing. I’m not willing to bet against that guy. But also, we’re having to be very mindful to protect him from himself as well. So that’s about all I got him that one.”
Mostert was officially listed as doubtful on the injury report.
If Mostert is unable to play, Jeff Wilson, Jr., would likely start, while Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin could both see an increase in playing time. Miami traded for Wilson from the San Francisco 49ers at the deadline this year. In his two games with the Dolphins, Wilson has 170 yards on 26 carries with a touchdown along with five receptions for 45 yards and a score. Wilson’s season per carry average, including his eight games with the 49ers, is 5.4 yards per attempt, ranking him 10th in the NFL this year. His 6.5 yards per rush with the Dolphins would move him to fourth in the league and first among running backs. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (6.9), Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (6.9), and Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (6.8) are the only players with a higher yards per attempt average than Wilson’s average since joining the Dolphins.
The Texans have the league’s worst rush defense, allowing 178.9 yards per game against them. They are giving up nearly 25 yards more each game than the Detroit Lions, the 31st-ranked team.
Tackle Terron Armstead has been dealing with a toe injury all year and was limited in practice on Wednesday then did not practice on Thursday before returning to limited action on Friday as he was dealing with the injury. Punter Thomas Morstead missed Wednesday and Thursday with an illness, but was a full participant on Friday. Asked about both players, McDaniel laughed and called them a combined “Stead.” He continued with the “stead” theme, replaying, “They’re steady. I’d steadily – I’d say that would be a likely scenario. I feel good about both of those guys this week.”
McDaniel also discussed linebacker Jerome Baker, who was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but a full participant on Friday, as he deals with a hip injury. feel pretty good about him but that doesn’t mean that something can’t change. I have a pretty good relationship with ‘Bake.’ I really, really like him as a person and he’s a big contributor to our team. I know he’s – having not been a Miami Dolphins coach and not had his availability, it’s kind of uncharted territory for me. So I feel optimistic, but I’m very aware that it is uncharted territory. So we will see. You’re not going to say, ‘Well, you said,’ and I told you so because I don’t know.”
None of the three, Armstead, Morstead, or Baker, received a game-status designation, indicating they are all expected to be available. The only player other than Mostert to receive any designation for Miami was Teddy Bridgewater. The Dolphins’ backup quarterback has a knee injury that kept him limited all week and has him questionable for the game. Should he not be available on Sunday, rookie Skylar Thompson, who has started one game this year, would serve as the backup behind Tua Tagovailoa.
The rest of Miami’s injury report from during the week, including defensive tackle Raekwon Davis, tight end Tanner COnner, cornerback Keion Crossen, cornerback Kader Kohou, tight end Durham Smythe, and wide receiver Jaylen Waddle were not given a designation and are expected to be available. Linebacker Melvin Ingram was listed on the injury report on Wednesday for a veteran rest day, but then removed on Thursday. Tight end Hunter Long cleared concussion protocol this week and was removed from the injury report on Friday.
The Texans side of the report ruled defensive back Derek Stingley, Jr., out of the game after he did not practice during the week with a hamstring injury. Defensive lineman Maliek Collins, with a chest injury, and linebacker Neville Hewitt, with a hamstring issue, are both expected to be available after not receiving an injury designation. Long snapper Jon Weeks had missed Wednesday and Thursday dealing with a personal issue but returned to practice on Friday.
Kickoff on Sunday is at 1 p.m. ET from Miami Gardens’ Hard Rock Stadium.