The Miami Dolphins will face off against a New England Patriots team that might finally be finding a groove after Bill Belichick’s squad took down the Buffalo Bills in Week 7.
Though no one is mistaking New England’s offense for a high-octane aerial attack, QB Mac Jones put together a strong outing against the Bills and will look to keep the good times rolling at Hard Rock Stadium.
Of course, the Dolphins will have an easier time stopping Jones and the Pats if Miami has even half of its starters available in the secondary, something that is in doubt ahead of Week 8’s divisional matchup.
Jalen Ramsey, Xavien Howard, and Jevon Holland All in Danger of Missing Week 8
“I have no clue.” That was the bottom line of head coach Mike McDaniel’s answer when he was asked whether any of the top three players in his secondary would be available against the Patriots.
That said, the odds are that at least one of Jalen Ramsey, Xavien Howard, or Jevon Holland will be able to take the field on Sunday, given that all three seem to be on the verge of playing.
Ramsey has yet to take his first snap as a Miami Dolphin after injuring his knee during a training camp practice. He underwent surgery to repair a meniscus issue that has kept him sidelined all season, and the team activated him from injured reserve as he returned to practice last week.
Several reports surfaced indicating that Ramsey would play in Week 8, but the cornerback refuted the notion that his status is already decided.
“Full transparency, there’s a CHANCE that I can play this Sunday, but that decision genuinely isn’t made yet so that is news to me just like it is to y’all lol,” the star defender posted on X. “I have to go through a whole process to feel GREAT enough to play. I won’t play if I feel any less than GREAT.”
Howard’s status is equally muddled. When asked who his starting cornerbacks will be this week, McDaniel simply offered, “I don’t know who they are.”
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“I really have to go through practice and listen to them. I already know I’m going to like the way they look,” McDaniel said on Friday about Howard and Ramsey. Howard is working his way back from a groin injury, and despite being confident that he would be able to play against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, he was ultimately inactive. He was limited in practice this week on Wednesday and Thursday.
Holland, Miami’s stud safety, has been working his way through the concussion protocol after entering it following Miami’s Sunday night matchup. Though McDaniel noted that Holland wasn’t fully cleared yet, Holland was spotted without his red no-contact jersey at Friday’s practice, indicating that he’s in the later stages of the protocol.
At cornerback, Miami will likely rely on a combination of Kader Kohou, Eli Apple, Parry Nickerson, Nik Needham (if he’s active), and Justin Bethel should Howard and Ramsey be unable to suit up. DeShon Elliott and Brandon Jones will hold down the safety position if Holland is unable to play.
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