The Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills are closing in on their Week 4 kickoff. With just 90 minutes before the start of the game, it is time to turn our attention to who will not be on the field for either team this week. According to NFL rules, teams must declare a list of “inactive” players, or players who cannot participate in the game, due to gameday roster limits of just 48 players.
Injured players will often find themselves on the inactive list, as has happened today with the Dolphins placing linebacker Jaelan Phillips and the Bills including safety Jordan Poyer on their respective lists. Phillips was ruled out of the game on Friday’s injury report with an oblique injury. Poyer, also ruled out on the final injury report this week, is dealing with a knee issue.
Also inactive for Miami are safety DeShon Elliott, cornerback Eli Apple, center Connor Williams, and tight end Tyler Kroft. Elliott has been dealing with ankle and groin issues, while Williams has a groin injury. Both players were questionable on the Friday report but will not play on Sunday. Apple and Kroft were on the injury report throughout the week but were not given a game-day designation, indicating they were expected to play but have now been scratched. Apple has a neck issue, while Kroft is dealing with back problems.
With Williams out of the game, Liam Eichenberg likely replaces him in the starting lineup at center. Eichenberg lost a training camp position battle this summer to retain his starting role at left guard. He played part of last week’s game against the Denver Broncos at center and seemed solid. The Bills will likely test him more than Denver did last week, however.
Miami also listed quarterback Skyler Thompson as inactive, but he will serve as the team’s emergency quarterback. Under a new rule for 2023, teams may place their third quarterback on the inactive list, but have him available if injuries occur to both of the quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart. The emergency quarterback must be on the 53-man regular season active roster, not a player elevated from the practice squad for the week.
The Dolphins did elevate one player for the game. Defensive end Chase Winovich is available and likely will play in the game. It is the second practice squad elevation of the season for Winovich.
Along with Poyer, the Bills listed cornerback Kaiir Elam, guard German Ifedi, tackle Alec Anderson, and defensive tackle Poona Ford as inactive. All of their inactive players, other than Poyer, are healthy scratches for the game.
Active for the first time this year for Buffalo is safety Damar Hamlin. Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest during a game last year, having to have CPR performed on him on the field. He now makes his first appearance since that injury.
Kickoff for the Dolphins at Bills game is set for 1 p.m. ET from Buffalo’s Highmark Stadium.