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Friday night Dolphins, Hurricanes quick hits

Some quick Dolphins and Canes notes:

### The Dolphins hoped signing Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe would help tighten coverage against tight ends. It still might, but the problem persisted in the opener against Cleveland. In fact, 10 of the 12 passes thrown to tight ends were completed, for 117 yards.

And against the Colts on Sunday, the Dolphins will face one or two tight ends that were considered among the best in the 2012 draft: Coby Fleener and possibly Dwayne Allen, if he’s able to play despite a hip injury that kept him out of practice the past two days.

UPDATE: The Colts on Saturday downgraded Allen from questionable to doubtful.

Allen had six catches for a career-high 75 yards against the Dolphins last season to highlight a 45-reception, 521-yard season. Fleener closed his rookie season with 26 for 281.

The Dolphins hope neither Allen nor Fleener inflicts as much damage as Cleveland’s Jordan Cameron, who entered last Sunday with 26 career receptions in two years and then produced 9 catches (in 11 passes to him) for 108 yards. Several Dolphins defensive players were victimized, Wheeler among them.

“A couple of things the [Browns] did enabled the tight end to get into an area where we might not have had the best coverage on a certain play,” defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said. “It was a schematic thing where I could have helped them with it.”

### Cornerback Dimitri Patterson was listed as questionable but said his injured groin is feeling much better and he expects to play Sunday. Cornerbacks Will Davis (toe) and Jamar Taylor (ankle) were ruled out. Brent Grimes, Nolan Carroll and R.J. Stanford are the only completely healthy cornerbacks on the roster.

Quarterback Pat Devlin (ankle) also is out.

Seven Dolphins were listed as probable: Dion Jordan, Ellerbe, Reshad Jones, Brandon Gibson, Josh Kaddu, Dion Sims and Jonathan Freeny.

### Indianapolis starting running back Vick Ballard sustained a season-ending knee injury in practice Thursday, meaning Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown likely will handle the bulk of the carries Sunday. Besides Allen, Colts starting linebackers Erik Walden and Jerrell Freeman also are questionable.

### Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said Charles Clay’s 64 plays (in 70 offensive snaps) were “probably too many for him.” On Friday, Joe Philbin left open the possibility of giving more work to Sims, who had 15 snaps.

Philbin said Sims “had a very good week of practice – better” than last week and “hopefully can contribute Sunday.” Michael Egnew had 21 snaps last week. Philbin wants his tight ends to improve their run-blocking.

### Though Danny Watkins doesn’t appear ready to unseat John Jerry at right guard, Philbin said Watkins “is picking the system up well. Seems like a bright guy. Been in the building a lot, getting extra help. I like the progress he’s making.”

### One major reason why seventh-round pick Don Jones, the former Arkansas State safety, made the Dolphins was his skills on special teams. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones graded out the best of any Dolphin on coverage teams last week, even though his most impressive tackle (for no gain on a punt return) was nullified by a teammate’s penalty. Philbin has been impressed.

### CBS is sending Dolphins-Colts to 18 percent of the country, with Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts on the call.

### Cameron Wake, tweeting during Thursday’s Patriots-Jets game: “How do you watch a game where you want both teams to lose? I’m conflicted on every play.”

CANES NOTES

### Today marks 13 weeks since UM appeared before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions, and UM is now well outside the window during which a ruling was expected, causing great frustration among school officials.

Remember, UM initially was told that the NCAA was hopeful it would render a decision within 6 to 8 weeks. And the NCAA tells schools that 8 to 12 weeks is a reasonable expectation. But UM has been given no recent update on the timetable or the reason for the delay.

### For those who have asked, if UM gets another bowl ban (and nobody at UM is expecting that), the Hurricanes could still play in a bowl this season by appealing, because a ruling on an appeal takes many, many months. (UCF’s took seven months.) If there’s another bowl ban, UM assuredly would appeal.

### Wisconsin accepted the offer UM declined: to open next season against LSU at Houston’s Reliant Stadium. We have no issue with UM rejecting those overtures because they will be breaking in a new quarterback next season, and you would prefer not to do that against a powerful SEC opponent.

### According to Canesport.com, UM has become the first school to offer 6-2 Lake Christian junior quarterback Christian Alexander, who threw for 28 TDs and six picks last season. But UF is also very interested. 

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