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Ryan Tannehill expected to play Sunday; Xavien Howard running; Wednesday injury report

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill injured his ankle against the New England Patriots when offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James stepped back onto his quarterback. Tannehill was able to finish the game but reports on Monday and Tuesday seemed to indicate the quarterback could be in danger of missing the team’s Week 15 game at the Minnesota Vikings.

Wednesday, things seemed to be a little more positive when it comes to the quarterback with the sixth highest passer rating in 2018. “Yeah,” head coach Adam Gase said of Tannehill playing against the Vikings. “Unless something crazy happens.”

Tannehill was limited in Wednesday’s practice, but Gase explained the quarterback looked good during the workout. “He did good,” Gase stated. “He moved around well, so that’s positive.”

Gase was asked if Tannehill’s injury was a “day-after” kind of thing, where the coaches and trainers need to see how he responds on Thursday after working out on Wednesday. “No,” the coach simply responded. “He’ll be all right.”

Tannehill also met with the media Wednesday, explaining his ankle’s status, “It’s been better. I’m encouraged by how it feels. It’s gotten better every day and actually moving around today at practice, some of the swelling was worked out of it. I definitely feel encouraged by where things are at.”

Asked about going back into the game after the ankle injury and having pride in “toughness,” Tannehill told the media, “I love competing. I love being on the field. I love being out there for my guys. If there’s any possible way that I can be out there with my guys and compete and lead them, then I’m going to do it. It’s not about proving a point or anything like that. It’s about leading the offense and trying to go win a game. That’s ultimately what it comes down to.”

Tannehill being able to play on Sunday against the Vikings will be huge in terms of the Dolphins’ chances to win, and possibly make the playoffs this season. But Tannehill is not the only injured player Miami could use coming back this week.

“He’s running, which is good,” Gase said of cornerback Xavien Howard. The league leader in interceptions missed last week’s game with a knee injury, which reportedly needed a minor arthroscopic procedure. “We’ll just kind of see how the week goes. You’re always hopeful, but at the same time, we’ve just got to make sure...The lateral movement is really the key to everything.”

Officially listed as “did not practice” on the initial injury report for the week, Howard is probably a long shot for being available against the Vikings, but the fact that he is already running is a good sign that he could still play this season. “I think it’s more about the mobility,” Gase continued. “I don’t think anybody is really going to be 100 percent at this point, but at the same time, I want him to be able to play the way that he needs to play.

“I think it’s more about to see the mobility that we’re looking for more than anything.”

Also not practicing for Miami on Wednesday was wide receiver Danny Amendola who is battling a knee injury. Amendola was expected to miss last week’s game, but the veteran refused to be sidelined as Miami faced his former team in the Patriots.

The Dolphins saw limited practice participation from cornerback Cornell Armstrong (ankle), running back Kenyan Drake (shoulder), tackle Ja’Wuan James (quadriceps), safety T.J. McDonald (ankle), wide receiver DeVante Parker (shoulder), and tackle Laremy Tunsil (knee). Most, if not all, of those players should be available on Sunday.

Long snapper John Denney (finger), safety Reshad Jones (shoulder), and center Travis Swanson (ankle) were all listed on the injury report but were full participants in the practice.

The Vikings saw wide reciever Chad Beebe (hamstring) not practice Wednesday. They listed linebacker Eric Kendricks (rib), tight end David Morgan (knee), tackle Brian O’Neill (ankle), guard Mike Remmers (low back), defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (hip), and cornerback Trae Waynes as limited in the workout.

Nose tackle Jaleel Johnson (calf), cornerback Xavier Rhodes (hip), and wide receiver Adam Thielen (ankle) were all full participants.

Miami and the Vikings kick off at 1pm ET on Sunday from Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium.