5 Miami Dolphins who need to step up with Salvon Ahmed out

Nov 22, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Salvon Ahmed (26) is tackled by Denver Broncos linebacker Alexander Johnson (45) in the fourth quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 22, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Salvon Ahmed (26) is tackled by Denver Broncos linebacker Alexander Johnson (45) in the fourth quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Dolphins will not have Salvon Ahmed against the Jets this week.

With the Miami Dolphins losing Salvon Ahmed, an already thin running back unit just got thinner putting more pressure on the rest of the offense.

Salvon Ahmed has been a pleasent surprise. He was added to the roster after Miami lost Myles Gaskin to IR and Matt Breida was dealing with a hamstring issue. Now, the Dolphins will look deeper into their running back group to fill this void.

For the Dolphins, it won’t be just finding a running back to step in, the players around the position must step up to make it easier for the offense if they want to have any type of ground game.

DeAndre Washington

Washington will likely see his first action as a member of the Miami Dolphins. He will split carries with Matt Breida and Patrick Laird. It’s unclear how the Dolphins will utilize Malcolm Perry or Lynn Bowden, Jr. but knowing Chan Gailey, we can expect a few Wild Cat formations. Honestly, that’s not all that impressive if we do.

Washington has experience but while he has shown his athleticism, he hasn’t been a position to show consistency through multiple games. As a result he is an unknown for the Dolphins. Miami is going to need him to step into the vacancy because Matt Breida is not an every down back.

Breida will see a lot of action on Sunday and the Dolphins are going to finally get a look at what he can and can’t do. It will be interesting to see how many snaps he takes. If he takes less than Washington, we can assume that he will not be back next season and that trade for him made little sense.

Jesse Davis

Davis is returning from the COVID list but the real question is where will he line up? He was horrible the last time he played and has been inconsistent throughout the season but Davis has the most experience. He will play somewhere on the right side and it will probably be at right guard as Solomon Kindley has been banged up.

Davis needs to play better and he needs to open up running lanes for whomever is behind Tua Tagovailoa. Better blocking up front will hide the inexperience and depth issues that Miami is facing at running back.

Miami doesn’t need to run behind Davis but they can’t run every time behind Ereck Flowers and Austin Jackson. They will try and get an outside rushing game going but with the exception of Breida, there is a question about speed.

If the Dolphins can get Davis to play one of his good games, the Dolphins can get yardage despite the depth problem.

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Tua Tagovailoa

There is not going to be a cushion for Tua this week and while he hasn’t had a stellar run game, it does take some pressure off. This week he may not have that little bit of luxury and the Jets are likely to attack Tua on every play knowing there isn’t much of a running game, or at least less of what they had in previous weeks.

Tua has to have a good game. He can’t afford a game like he did last week. The Jets will likely follow the Broncos defensive plan and put constant pressure on the Dolphins young QB.

This is a big game for Tua as it is one the Dolphins should win but more importantly, it will tell us wheat Tua has done since last week when he was benched. If he can’t get the job done, don’t be surprised if we see an earlier exit than we did last week.

Perry and/or Bowden

We mentioned both of these guys earlier and we know that Chan Gailey likes to run the ball. The problem is he hasn’t had a strong running game all year and this will be the worst it has been. With that knowledge and Gailey’s sometimes absurd play calling, one or both of these guys are going to see some work on Sunday.

The Wild Cat seems to be the most logical. Gailey has used it the last few weeks with minimal success but with the team being down a runner, he may turn to it more frequently. If he does, Perry is far more the logical choice to use but Bowden could be a strong player to run alongside Perry in that formation given his abilities.

Overall, this isn’t going to be an easy game to call for Gailey.

Mike Gesicki

In reality, you can take your pick of tight-ends here. Gesicki has almost become a forgotten man in Miami but that really isn’t surprising given Gailey’s offensive style. Gesicki needs to get involved. Short passes and crossing routes will help Tua and move the ball while keeping the Jets defensive front off the QB.

A short, quick, passing attack can eliminat the need for a rushing attack early. It will pull the linebackers off the line and the Jets will be forced to play a different defense to keep the Dolphins from playing small-ball to use a baseball term. It will allow Tua to operate without being hit as much.

This will then open the running game more as the defense will not be able to stack the line of scrimmage. If I’m Chan Gailey, the TE’s and my slot receivers are going to see five yard slants early and often until the Jets change their scheme.

What happens on Sunday is really going to come to down to what Washington can do because we know what the others can and can’t do. He is the anomaly. It will also depend on whether or not Breida can be the workhorse as well.