The Dolphins have a competition for the No. 3 running back job. The only problem is no one of consequence is actually competing for the job right now.
Daniel Thomas has a hamstring injury and has been out of practice eight days. He is not practicing today. That opened the door for Mike Gillislee to get more opportunities to win the job, or at minimum take a lead in the race for the job. But Gillislee has not been able to make the most of his chance.
Gillislee was unimpressive in the preseason opener against Atlanta, gaining 30 yards on eight carries (3.8 yards average) and then then he injured his hamstring in practice on Sunday -- neither is good news because he failed to impress to a great degree with his opportunity and now is sidelined and unable to show out in practice.
Well, the Dolphins have other running back options in camp: Orleans Darkwa, Damien Williams and Cameron Marshall was resigned for the third time on Monday. But it seems obvious to anyone with eyes none of these guys will be the answer.
So why not sign a running back? The Dolphins added quarterback Brady Quinn when Pat Devlin was unable to compete at quarterback. They have two running backs currently unable to compete and they add a retread Marshall who we already know is not going to factor?
Why not give Andre Brown, cut by the Texans after gaining 876 yards and averaging 4.1 yard per rush the past two years for the New York Giants, a try?
I'm not saying Andre Brown is Jim Brown.
I'm saying he is an upgrade over Cameron Marshall and Darkwa and others and could actually compete for a spot with Thomas and Gillislee -- both of whom aren't actually competing now anyway.
Thomas is making progress. He is running on the sideline and should be back practicing within the week. But is the idea to simply hand him or Gillislee the job?
Or is the idea to turn over stones and try to upgrade from players who, frankly, are backups and need to be pushed to make the team better?