The Miami Dolphins released their final injury report before this weekend’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After being limited in practice on Thursday, both of Miami’s top cornerbacks, Byron Jones and Xavien Howard, were full participants in practice on Friday and their game status isn’t in question. Jones has been dealing with Achilles and quad injuries and Howard was listed with groin and shoulder issues. Going into a matchup against the defending champs with your two top corners banged up is anything but ideal.
Wide receiver DeVante Parker also popped up on the injury report with a shoulder and a hamstring injury. He was limited in practice. On Friday head coach Brian Flores said Parker could become a game-time decision. With the receiving corps already missing Will Fuller who was just placed on IR and Jakeem Grant being traded to the Bears earlier in the week, we could see some unfamiliar faces getting targets this week.
Ideally, though, we’ll be seeing a lot more of first-round pick Jaylen Waddle, tight end Mike Gesicki, and running back Myles Gaskin getting involved in the passing attack. Parker is one of only five wide receivers on the 53-man roster, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the team elevates someone like Isaiah Ford or Kirk Merritt from the practice squad if Parker can’t play.
On the Tampa Bay side of the ball, it’s no surprise that tight end Rob Gronkowski was ruled out with broken ribs along with starting safety Antoine Winfield, who is dealing with a concussion. Patrick O’Connor, a defensive lineman, was also ruled out with a calf injury.
Running back Giovani Bernard, linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, and cornerback Jamel Dean were all listed as questionable for Sunday’s matchup, but none of them are expected to miss the game, according to head coach Bruce Arians. The only other real player of note on the Bucs injury report was Antonio Brown, who did not practice Friday with a knee injury. However, his game status isn’t in question, so he’ll most likely be a full go on Sunday.
Other than Tom Brady missing his favorite target, injuries probably won’t play a huge factor in Sunday’s matchup. It’s going to be an uphill battle for the Dolphins to beat the Bucs, but if the defense can keep the Bucs from running up the score and Jacoby Brissett can hit his open receivers, an upset is not completely out of the question.