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Folks getting tense, season must be drawing close

The Dolphins opened practice to the media for the last time today and afterward it felt like the regular-season is looming because things are suddenly getting a little tight around here.

Talk to Mike Pouncey after practice to ask about his trip to the doctor on Monday? Nope. A communications department person escorted him off the field.

FYI, Pouncey visited a hip specialist Monday and the report was good. He is making progress. He is not yet cleared to practice. He will definitely miss the opener against the New England Patriots. There is still a possibility he is placed on the physically unable to perform list to start the regular season -- meaning he would miss six games. The Dolphins can also put him on the active roster (even though he would not be playing) in hopes he misses fewer than six games.

I asked Joe Philbin for confirmation quarterback Ryan Tannehill is not playing in the final preseason game Thursday.

"We haven't finalized anything," Joe Philbin said.

Look, if Ryan Tannehill is playing even a series Thursday there should be an investigation. Why would anyone risk Tannehill getting a helmet to the knee in a meaningless fourth preseason game? And why wouldn't Philbin say so?

Anyway, I am told Matt Moore is the likely starter followed by Brady Quinn and then Seth Lobato.

Kicker Caleb Sturgis, who has been a disappointment this preseason because he's been hurt much of the time after being a disappointment as a fifth-round pick last year, returned to practice today and kicked a couple of times. Afterward, he spoke for approximately 24 seconds, giving condescending one-word and one-sentence answers.

Reporter: How did it feel today?

Sturgis: "Good."

Reporter: Where do you feel you're at right now?

Sturgis: "We'll see."

Reporter: Did you feel comfortable out there?

Sturgis: "Anytime I kick the ball I feel comfortable."

Reporter: If you were in a game situation could you kick?

Sturgis: "I'm just not going to asnwer that right now."

I'm glad the Dolphins have a cool, calm, collected kicker.The injury thing isn't in his head at all. Lots of confidence in his mindset.

RB Daniel Thomas (hamstring) who has not played all preseason is on track to play Thursday. He practiced today.

RB Mike Gilislee (hamstring) did not practice today. He is not on track to play Thursday.

TE Brett Brackett (knee) who missed practice Monday returned to practice today. 

The Dolphins have 86 players on the roster. They will make nine cuts by 4 p.m. this afternoon. Check back for the roster details.

Interestingly, today comes at the end of a training camp and preseason when the Dolphins have been the most open they've been in years. They've reported injuries, which is not an NFL mandate in the preseason. They've kept practices open the past two weeks following the end of training camp.

Finally, despite the increasingly tense answers from players and coaches, a big thank you goes out to the Dolphins communications department for serving nice lunches to the media the past two weeks.