The Dolphins have waived linebacker Mike Rivera injured.
With that blockbuster out of the way let's discuss today's game between the Bucs and Dolphins.
Let's start with the defensive backs situation. Basically, the situation is down to three names -- Nolan Carroll, Will Allen and Tyrone Culver. And it looks like only two will make the team. Today will go a long way in determining which will stay and which will go.
The way I see it, Allen looks like an odd man out right now. Even if he plays well tonight, his $1.5 million salary and the fact he hasn't really played the last 18 months puts him behind the eight ball. Because of his age and salary, the Dolphins can cut Allen and risk losing him to another team.
Because he doesn't play special teams, the chances of him getting picked up are a lot more slim than, say, either Carroll or Culver. And you can always bring him back for the veteran minimum without having to guarantee the salary for the year and also saving around $500,000 in the process.
Obviously, everything changes if Allen plays out of his mind tonight. But otherwise, he's definitely not favored to make the team.
If Allen plays great, obviously Miami can look at Carroll or even Culver. I think the more likely cut would be Carroll because Culver can play both safety, in the nickel package, and on special teams. Carroll doesn't play safety.
On to other matters:
Running back Larry Johnson is expected to play tonight. He might get between 8-12 carries. I'm curious to see if the veteran still has it. I hope he does. I like a comeback story.
But the real issue at running back is not with Johnson or even starter Reggie Bush. The issue involves rookie Daniel Thomas. I've not been impressed with Thomas so far this preseason. Don't get me wrong, I believe he's been fine. But he hasn't done anything special.
More importantly, he has taken anyone's breath away within the Dolphins coaching ranks. They are asking more of him. They welcomed the addition of Larry Johnson.
The fact is if Thomas is going to respond to a challenge, this is the time. He's on notice he must run harder. He just looked up and the team brought in an accomplished player behind him. Hello?
Time to giddyup, rookie.
Obviously, we're looking for consistency from Chad Henne after a good performance last week against Carolina.
We're looking for signs of consistency from the offensive line.
We'll monitor the final WR spot battle between Roberto Wallace, Marlon Moore and the others. Wallace, because of his special teams work, has the advantage.
[Update: Reshad Jones will start ahead Chris Clemons at free safety. Jake Long will not play. Neither will Charles Clay, nor Lex Hilliard, nor Patrick Carter.]
It all gets underway at 7:30. The live blog is in the comments section. See you there.