The first depth chart of the 2016 season is out this morning for the Miami Dolphins and here are some interesting tidbits:
The starting running back is Jay Ajayi. This despite the fact Ajayi missed a few days of practice with a bone bruise to a knee and Arian Foster took the first-team work those days and was impressive. Foster is second team and Damien Williams, who also missed time this training camp, is third team.
Dallas Thomas is listed at the starting left guard. Rookie first-round pick Laremy Tunsil, who is expected to have this job by the time the regular season rolls around, is listed as second team left guard.
No surprise at starting center with Mike Pouncey, but backup center right now belongs to first-year player Anthony Steen. He is ahead of Jamil Douglas, who played in Pouncey's absence last year.
The starting receivers are Kenny Stills, Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker. Second team is Leonte Carroo, Matt Hazel and Griff Whalen.
Earl Mitchell, who is coming off a less than stellar season in 2015, remains a starting defensive tackle with Ndamukong Suh ahead of rookie Jordan Phillips. Chris Jones, a veteran of three previous NFL seasons, is listed as the other backup defensive tackle.
Cameron Wake, who the team is bringing along wisely as he returns from a 2015 torn Achilles, is listed at his usual starting defensive end spot. Mario Williams is the other starting defensive end. The backup defensive ends are Jason Jones and Andre Branch.
The starting linebacker corps is what we've seen throughout camp: MLB Kiko Alonso, OLB Jelani Jenkins and OLB Koa Misi. The backups are OLBs Neville Hewitt and Spencer Paysinger and MLB James-Michael Johnson.
Tony Lippett, uneven in his performance as a starting cornerback since training camp opened, remains the starting cornerback opposite Byron Maxwell. Chimdi Chekwa, who lately has gotten first-team snaps, is listed as the backup behind Lippett.
No surprise at starting safety with Reshad Jones and recently acquired free agent Isa Abdul-Quddus at the other spot. It should be said that Abdul-Quddus has been off the field in some nickel packages since the start of camp with either Bobby McCain or Michael Thomas at the slot corner.
McCain is listed as the starting slot corner ahead of Thomas although the two have been sharing some of those first-team repetitions. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is listed as the third-team slot cornerback.
[Update: The Dolphins have waived/injured Ekpre-Olomu this morning. All the buzz about his signing in the spring resulted in ... nothing. Ikpre-Olomu sustained another ACL tear, this time to his other knee during a practice Saturday. The injury happened inside the team's bubble, which has field turf. He's done for the year and done on this team for now. The team has added free agent Al Louis-Jean to fill the spot.]
Landry remains listed as the team's kick and punt returner but the team is hoping rookie Jakeem Grant can win the punt return duties and Damien Williams is listed as the second-team kick returner.
The Dolphins returned to practice Monday morning. Well, most of them.
Missing practice Monday were receiver DeVante Parker (hamstring), running back Kenyan Drake (hamstring), DE Mario Williams (rest), DE Cameron Wake (rest) , CB Chimde Chekwa (thigh strain), DE Farrington Huguenin (ankle), DT Earl Mitchell (calf).
Running back Isaiah Pead (hamstring) returned to practice.