Running back Daniel Thomas is suffering from a concussion and while he had been cleared for physical activity by Wednesday, he was not cleared for contact thus had to sit out practice.
As part of the NFL's concussion guidelines, Thomas must undergo and pass a baseline test clearing him to return to practice and game action. He must get the clearance from an independent neurologist so it's not really the Dolphins' or Thomas' call when he will return.
[Update: Thomas is not practicing on Thursday.]
And that means that, suddenly, Reggie Bush might get more of a load on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders and rookie Lamar Miller might get his NFL debut.
Bush getting work is not an issue. He's in great shape. He's been holding up very well during his time with the Dolphins the past 18 months -- that contrary to a previous reputation for getting hurt.
Miller is another story.
For him it's not so much being ready to carry the football. He's ready for that. For the rookie the concern is whether he's ready to do good work in blitz protection on passing plays.
“I think one of the hardest things, I think the transition from college to the NFL is pass protection because those guys they don’t just run at you anymore," Bush said. "They’re moving around. They’re giving you different looks, different blitzes, different schemes and then, on top of that, you get some of these linebackers and safeties who just, they’re not just coming right at you any more, they’re moving around. I think that is the biggest transition, but Lamar’s done a great job this year, so I don’t think we’ll be worried about him too much.”
Miller has shown no obvious pass protection deficiencies in the practice time the media is able to watch. But privately, coaches are hoping he isn't pressed into a situation where Oakland -- this week's opponent -- decides his entrance into the game becomes a signal to come after Ryan Tannehill.