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Kiko Alonso injury could lead to Mike Hull start

The Dolphins’ starting middle linebacker has a broken thumb and a hamstring injury, which could lead to Hull replacing him in the starting lineup.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins starting middle linebacker Kiko Alonso has been a rock in the middle of the Miami defense this year, with various injuries occurring around him, but Alonso out on the field for snap-after-snap. Last week against the Baltimore Ravens, however, Alonso did not seem to be playing as quickly as he normal does, with delayed flow from sideline-to-sideline and not being able to keep up in coverage. Alsono was also forced from the game for the first time this year, missing snaps after breaking his thumb.

Monday, Alonso had surgery on the thumb, but the team is hopeful he will be able to play with a cast.

It is the step slow that is the bigger issue this week. Along with the thumb injury, Alonso also has a hamstring problem that clearly impacted him last week. Miami is hoping he is ready to play on Sunday when the team hosts the Arizona Cardinals.

“Right now, we’re taking it slow,” Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said after Wednesday’s practice. “The thumb is what it is, as far as playing with a cast. Really, the bigger concern is seeing how fast his hamstring … See how good he feels coming off of that. That’s the one part that’s a little up in the air for us right now. We just want to make sure that he is as close to – he’s not going to be 100 percent – but as close to being as healthy as he can be by game time.”

The Dolphins held Alonso out of practice on Wednesday.

If Alonso is not able to play this weekend, Mike Hull would move into the starting lineup for the first time in his two-year career. Gase explained, “Mike would be our guy. He was last week, and he did a great job. He showed up, for sure. That was something that was very obvious, probably to anybody that was watching the game. His instincts are off the charts. You see how quickly he reacts compared to everybody else. For whatever reason, he has that ability to … Everybody is going one way, he’s going the other way, and he’s usually right. You just watch him play, it’s very impressive.”

Alonso recorded 10 tackles against the Ravens, despite his hamstring and thumb. In 26 snaps played, Hull added four defensive tackles. He also had one special teams tackle, which is where he has been making an impact this year.

The Dolphins and Cardinals will kick off at 1pm ET Sunday. The team will continue to update the injury report Thursday and Friday, so it will be worth noting if Alonso is able to get back on the practice field before the end of the week.