MIAMI GARDENS — If the Miami Dolphins can be effective on the ground against the Bills like they were last time in Buffalo, going into Sunday’s wildcard playoff game with rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson would do them the best go the projected starter.
The Dolphins rushed for 188 yards when they narrowly played the Bills on December 17, a 32-29 loss on a last-second field goal. It was her second-best rushing result of the season and came as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa tried to get out of fear of losing in California at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers.
This time around, Miami (9-8) may need similar ground play to take on the mighty Bills (13-3), with Thompson, a seventh-round pick in the last draft, taking his turn to start while Tagovailoa continues a concussion is on record and backup Teddy Bridgewater may only be available in an emergency role with the dislocated pinky on his throwing hand.
Last time it was Mostert who carried the workload while Wilson was unavailable. Now the roles have been reversed, with Mostert suffering a broken thumb in last week’s win over the New York Jets and Wilson taking the healthy lead.
“We just have to stay in the game, keep our composure and not try to play beyond our means,” Wilson said of the potentially big role he could play at Orchard Park on Sunday. “Play football like before and just add a little bit more.”
The Dolphins may be without Mostert, and three beginning offensive linemen didn’t practice through Thursday this week, including Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead, but offensive coordinator Frank Smith still has confidence in his team’s quick attack and is building up a 162-yard Outcome in regular season finals against New York.
“With what we’re doing,” Smith said, “we’re trying to build consistency in our system by executing our core concepts and allowing everyone to really understand what the intent of the play is, what the stress points of the play are or are.” what are crucial factors of the play.”
Smith was asked Thursday if his game plan with Thompson against the Bills, a game that may need more points to win, is similar to that of the Jets, avoiding turnover and risking an 11-6 win. He didn’t reveal too much.
“Philosophically for an offense, our job is to score and however we score, obviously we’re trying to win the game,” he said. “So last week we felt like there was an opportunity with the jets to attack them in a way that we might not have attacked certain opponents in the same way.”
Mostert led Miami with 891 rushing yards in 2022. Wilson went on 392 in eight games since he was acquired at the close. Both averaged just under 5 yards per carry, with Mostert averaging 4.9 and Wilson averaging 4.7.
If Mostert can’t walk, Salvon Ahmed will likely spell Wilson. Ahmed had a touchdown in the last game in Buffalo and had a key run to set up Sunday’s winning field goal.
“He’s a great fit for our system,” Smith said. “I like his vision, his tenacity, his ability to deflect, his ability to catch the ball from backcourt.”
Wilson was limited in Wednesday’s practice due to illness but fully participated on Thursday, according to Miami’s injury report.
Armstead missed team practice again on Thursday as he tries to recover from missing the last two games with toe, chest, knee and hip injuries.
Meanwhile, outside linebackers Bradley Chubb (hand/ankle) and Melvin Ingram (veteran rest) returned to practice Thursday — Chubb was limited.
Mostert (thumbs) missed a second straight practice session but coach Mike McDaniel didn’t rule him out when speaking on Wednesday.
Armstead is one of four offensive linemen not to train, along with left guard Liam Eichenberg (hand), right tackle Brandon Shell (knee/ankle) and tackle Kendall Lamm (ankle).
Tagovailoa, already ruled out, was not cleared for Thursday’s session.
Bridgewater, who remained restricted, was not seen throwing during the media viewing portion of practice. The fifth finger on his right hand still has inflammation from the dislocation and is flexing outward.
Also listed as Thursday’s limited participants were wide receivers Jaylen Waddle (ankle) and Cedrick Wilson Jr. (hip/groin), outside linebacker Jaelan Phillips (toe/wrist), and fullback Alec Ingold (thumb).
Dolphins long snapper Blake Ferguson and Buffalo long snapper Reid Ferguson will be the first brothers to meet in an NFL postseason game since the Philadelphia Eagles’ Chris Long and Chicago Bears’ Kyle Long in the 2018 postseason on Jan. 6, 2019 met , according to Elias Sport office.
“It’s going to be great,” said Blake Ferguson. “I think it has been a goal of ours for a long time to both make it to this level. Since we’re both here, it’s cool that you have a chance to walk all the way, and the way to Arizona is through Buffalo.
“It will be a lot of fun to play against him and of course against a familiar opponent. We are looking forward to it.”
The Fergusons often compete as rivals in the AFC East Division. With Blake in his third NFL season and Reid in his fifth, both from LSU, they have met six times in the regular season. Now it is their first meeting after the season.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to win this one a little bit more than the others,” Blake said, “but you still have to check them out. They all count as one and at the moment it’s win or go home.”