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The Miami Dolphins elevate tight end Tanner Conner for Sunday’s game against Washington

Sunday marks the third time Tanner Conner was elevated for gameday.

Miami Dolphins v New York Jets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins announced that Tanner Conner will be elevated for the third time this season when he takes the field against the Washington Commanders on Sunday. The former Idaho State tight end was active against the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles, playing 34 total snaps during that time.

Tight end Durham Smythe was limited in practice throughout the week with an ankle injury but didn’t have an injury designation for Sunday’s game against the Commanders. Tyler Kroft was inactive when Conner suited up for Weeks 6 and 7.

Miami targets tight ends a league-low 7.9 percent of the time, and Smythe hasn’t finished with more than 28 receiving yards since Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa target wide receivers — specifically Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle — nearly 70 percent of the time.

Dallas Cowboys’ receivers gashed Washington’s defense for 245 yards and three touchdowns last week, but the Commanders haven’t allowed a tight end to reach the end zone since Week 9.

Conner was an undrafted college free agent after earning a first-team All-Big Sky selection at wide receiver in the spring of 2021. He transitioned to tight end when he signed with the Dolphins before the 2022 season. Miami leans on its wide receivers most weeks, and coach Mike McDaniel could be searching for pass-catching playmakers at other positions.