Nov/07/14 08:11 AM Filed in: Lamar Miller
Dolphins tailback Lamar Miller's participation in this week's practices has been significantly limited, which raises concern about his availability for Sunday's road game against the Detroit Lions.
Miller injured his left shoulder in last Sunday's 37-0 win over the San Diego Chargers. The former University of Miami standout has started 24 games for the Dolphins, and 23 since 2013, when he replaced his former mentor, Reggie Bush, who is now the starter for the Lions.
"I thought he moved around well," said coach Joe Philbin, who has missed two practices this week attending his father's funeral. "He looked good, but we'll have to see, take it one day at a time."
Miller has gained 518 rushing yards and scored five touchdowns on 106 carries, and he's averaging 4.9 yards per carry. He's also caught 21 passes for 144 yards and one touchdown. Miller caught passes on Thursday during the portion of practice the media is allowed to watch.
If Miller doesn't play or can't play much, Daniel Thomas would likely receive a larger workload. And expect rookie tailback Damien Williams to get more involved too.
Thomas has gained 101 rushing yards on 27 carries and has caught nine passes for 97 yards in the five games he's played. Throughout his four- year NFL career with the Dolphins, Thomas, a former second-round pick, has rushed for 1,413 yards and 392 carries and he's scored 13 touchdowns.
Williams, a former Oklahoma standout the Dolphins signed as a rookie free agent, has gained 66 rushing yards on 24 carries, and he's brought down four receptions for 35 yards.
If Miller isn't cleared to play, the Dolphins might promote one of two tailbacks — Orleans Darkwa or LaMichael James — from the practice squad.
James, who the San Francisco 49ers picked in the second-round of the 2012 draft, was added to Miami's practice squad a month ago after he was released by the 49ers.
Darkwa, an undrafted rookie from Tulane, spent the first couple weeks on the Dolphins' 53-man roster. He gained 2 yards on four carries and caught three passes for 31 yards. Darkwa also provides some special teams value.
"He's just a tough instinctive football player," Philbin said of Darkwa. "That's why he made the team. Some of it was special teams, but he ran the ball hard in the preseason when he had opportunities. LaMichael brings some different skills, and he's picked up the offense well….I see progress."