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When the starting running back is not the starter

For five weeks, Lamar Miller was the Dolphins starting running back.

He started the first five games of the season and had more carries in each of those games. He was, in name and in fact, the starting running back.

But on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills the Dolphins got the ball first, behold, Daniel Thomas was the running back with the starters.

Daniel Thomas supplanted Miller as the starter.

But coach Joe Philbin says what everyone saw is actually not what is the truth of the matter.

"It was a more of a function of the type of plays that we were running more than Lamar hasn’t done this or Daniel has done that," Philbin said. "As I’ve said many times, we like both of those guys. Lamar actually played more snaps in the game I believe in a game. He didn’t have more carries. I believe Daniel had 12 and Lamar nine, is that accurate?

"In a coaching mind, that’s still pretty balanced in my mind. We like the way both of the guys ran the ball yesterday. I thought they both ran the ball well.”

So is Miller still the starter?

 "Yes," Philbin said.

Interesting because the switch clearly seemed to work for Thomas, who answered with his best game of the season in gaining 60 yards on 12 carries. His 5-yard per rush average was nearly twice his season average. That now has improved to 3.4 yards per carry.

Miller carried the football nine times and gained 48 yards, which was his fourth best production of the six games.

It also will be interesting if the Dolphins go back to Miller as the starter out of the gate or if the performance Sunday will convince the team to try more of the same against New England.

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