Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard and outside linebacker Bradley Chubb returned to the team’s Thursday practice in a limited capacity ahead of their Sunday regular-season finale against the New York Jets, which could determine whether the team makes the playoffs.
Howard (knee) and Chubb (hand/ankle), after missing last Sunday’s loss against the New England Patriots, did not participate in Wednesday’s drills.
Chubb was spotted stretching with the team Wednesday but didn’t do individual drills. He was seen working with fellow outside linebacker Jaelan Phillips on Thursday for positional work.
Chubb said it was “a little bit of both” between the hand and ankle injuries that kept him off the field against the Patriots.
“With both things going on, I just wasn’t the best,” said Chubb, who has progressed to using a brace around the right hand while around the facility but still using the cast to get through practice. “I’m feeling better. Taking it day by day and understanding that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
“The goal is to play,” he said of the Jets game. “Depending on how it progresses. I’m feeling good. Just getting better each day.”
Dolphins quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was again not seen throwing a football any significant distance during the media viewing portion of practice, but after practice, the veteran was spotted throwing farther distances with pass catchers.
Like Wednesday, he was doing light tosses with his right hand, on which he had dislocated the pinky finger in the loss in Foxborough on the game-changing pick-six he threw. The post-practice throws seem to indicate moderate progress after coach Mike McDaniel said Wednesday he couldn’t forecast Bridgewater’s availability against the Jets.
Should Bridgewater be unable to play against New York, with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa still in early stages of concussion protocol and not on the field, rookie Skylar Thompson would start. Veteran Mike Glennon, just signed Wednesday to the practice squad, would be Thompson’s backup as the Dolphins need a win plus a Patriots loss to the Bills to get into the playoffs.
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill seemed to indicate, despite Bridgewater’s modest progress, things are still trending toward Thompson starting, and the star wideout was pleased with how the rookie conducted team drills.
“I feel like that practice right there, it was a lot of fun. We got a lot of great work in,” Hill said. “Skylar had guys flying around, catching passes, being deliberate in and out of the huddle. Practice was great [Thursday]. Really looking forward to Sunday and watching him play in this game.”
Left tackle Terron Armstead, nursing toe, pectoral, knee and hip ailments, did not participate again Thursday.
The Dolphins also did not have fellow tackles Kendall Lamm (ankle) and Eric Fisher (calf) present. Fisher had his first practice back Wednesday but then was placed on injured reserve later Thursday.
Wide receiver and punt returner Cedrick Wilson Jr. was again not seen at Thursday drills as he deals with a hip injury. Hill said Thursday he’d like to return punts if called upon.
Running back Raheem Mostert and outside linebacker Melvin Ingram were back at Thursday’s session, Mostert in a limited capacity, after each got a veteran rest day Wednesday.
Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (shoulder), safety Eric Rowe (quadriceps) and fullback Alec Ingold (thumb) were also limited on the Thursday injury report.
The Jets had tackle Duane Brown (shoulder), guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (knee), cornerback Brandon Echols (quadriceps), tackle George Fant (knee) and safety Lamarcus Joyner (hip) all miss a second consecutive practice Thursday. Quarterback Mike White was downgraded from a full participant Wednesday to limited Thursday with his ribs injury.
With Fisher now on IR, the Dolphins were awarded tackle Geron Christian off waivers from the Chiefs. Christian has 10 NFL starts since entering the league in 2018 with Washington and also playing for Houston and Kansas City.
Dolphins defensive backs coach Sam Madison was asked for his favorite and least favorite moment from his playing days in the Miami rivalry against the Jets.
“Winning on a Monday and losing on Tuesday,” he said of New York’s “Monday Night Miracle” pulled off on Oct. 23, 2000.
The four-time Pro Bowler as a player sounded like he was still in his playing days with the way he spoke about looking to shut up South Florida’s New Yorkers that take part in packing the Hard Rock Stadium stands for the rivalry game.
“A lot of New Yorkers,” he said. “So they’re going to come, they’re going to be loud. They’re always loud, and then we’ll start smacking them around and then they’ll be quiet.”
Madison also made a pitch for former teammate and linebacker Zach Thomas to get into the Hall of Fame after he was announced as a finalist on Wednesday night.
“You look at the things he’s done and you look at the guys that have gone before him,” Madison said, “he should have been in there a couple of years ago, but we’re going to keep fighting for him.”
Coach offers well wishes for Hamlin
Dolphins running backs coach Eric Studesville wrapped up his Thursday media session with an emotional statement on Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who collapsed on the field at Cincinnati on Monday night and has been in critical condition at University of Cincinnati’s intensive care unit since.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with that young man and his family and what they’re going through,” he said in part. “He’s got a tremendous battle. That family is battling. But I hope that they understand that they have support from the brothers around this league and the families — that they have an extended family to help them with this battle, that we’re all thinking about that young man.”
While still critically ill, Hamlin showed “remarkable improvement,” a Bills statement said Thursday. Later updates said he has begun to communicate.
Dolphins great Dan Marino tweeted: “So thankful to hear that my Central Catholic and Pitt brother Damar is making progress. We’ll continue to pray for you and your family Damar.”