Lots of news and notes today so let's get right to it.
Left tackle Branden Albert, the target of an erroneous ESPN report Saturday, admonished the media to not believe anything unless you "get it from the horse's mouth."
Albert said he is working with the starting unit in practice this week -- indeed, today -- for the first time since last November when he blew out his knee. ESPN reported Albert would not play until Week 3, but I reported that is not true and the Dolphins are still hopeful he can start in the opener against the Washington Redskins on Sept. 13.
"I only practiced twice last week. I've got a couple of more days of practice. We'll see in the next few weeks, next 13 days how well I'll be in shape to play.
"It's responding pretty well. I [haven't had] a setback yet and that's all that matters."
The news is not quite as rosy with receiver DeVante Parker. He said he is going through practice for the first time starting today, but he will only participate in individual drills.
Clearly, Parker may not be ready for the Sept. 13 opener considering there are only six more practices between now and that Washington game.
"I’m pretty anxious to get out there but you can’t do anything but be patient and wait until the time is right," Parker said.
Jason Fox returned to practice today after missing last week with a concussion. Indeed, the only player to sit out practice today was cornerback Jamar Taylor.
Mike Pouncey, who left Saturday's game with a sprained left knee, went for an MRI Sunday and it was negative. He's back at practice today.
The Dolphins must get down to the 53-man limit by Saturday at 4 p.m.
Here is what I'm hearing on that:
Undrafted rookie Zach Vigil is close to locking up a roster spot. Barring a total meltdown in practice and Thursday's preseason finale, Vigil is on this squad.
The Dolphins this year are likely to keep a couple of special teams specialists and I'm not talking about kicker, punter and long snapper. I'm talking core guys who will be on all the teams.
Right now Don Jones and Spencer Paysinger are on the team, barring a major meltdown in practice and the game Thursday evening. Interestingly, Jones missed much of training camp following shoulder surgery. But the kid is a special special teams contributor and he's healthy now so he makes the squad.
The Dolphins are not looking at Jones as a safety per se, although that is what he plays. With him on the club, that means three other safeties make the club: Reshad Jones, Walt Aikens and Michael Thomas.
Jordan Kovacs and Cedric Thompson aren't making it at this point although Thompson might be brought back for the practice squad.
There are questions about whether Will Davis makes the team or not. A third-round pick in 2013, Davis still shows enough promise and has enough experience that this becomes a difficult decision. (Obviously, a meltdown in practice or Thursday's game makes the decision not so difficult). But right now, he is not necessarily on the team.
It seems the Dolphins are going to make a deep, deep investment in keeping cornerbacks. Rookie Bobby McCain and veteran Zack Bowman are likely to make it at this point with, again, this week's practices and game also about to become part of the evaluation.
Will Davis remains a question mark. This is a big week and a big game for him.
If he responds, he's on the team. If not ...
So the cornerbacks could be in no particular order: Brice McCain, Brent Grimes, Jamar Taylor, Bobby McCain, Davis, Bowman and, yes, rookie Tony Lippett. Look, Lippett remains a project. But he's 6-3 and shows promise. So I don't think the Dolphins will want to cut him or expose him to be poached on the practice squad.
Interestingly, Lippett may not be active on Sundays and Bobby McCain may not be ready to contribute in regular-season games on defense just yet -- at least not unless a dire emergency occurs.
The Dolphins may not have another LB spot open other than Koa Misi, Jelani Jenkins, Kelvin Sheppard, Chris McCain, Paysinger, and Vigil (assuming good play this wee).
That puts Jordan Tripp on the outside looking in at the moment, along with Mike Hull, Neville Hewitt, and Jeff Luc.
It is possible if Tripp plays out of his mind this week, he passes Paysinger. But right now he is behind Paysigner, in part because he missed time with an ankle injury.