EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The much hyped pass rush the Miami Dolphins have said many times they are going to unleash during the 2016 NFL regular-season will not be making its debut in the team's preseason opener.
Head coach Adam Gase has told players including Cameron Wake, Ndamukong Suh and Mario Williams they will not be playing in Friday night's game here against the New York Giants. All those players travelled with the team Thursday afternoon but the Dolphins don't believe any has anything to prove in such an early preseason game.
Wake, attempting a comeback from the torn Achilles and surgery to repair it last October, continues to be set to open the season as a starting end and the Dolphins are holding him out of this game to ensure the team's leading active sack leader doesn't stumble on that comeback trail.
The Dolphins are being cautious with several valuable players and players who have had minor injuries in training camp. That caution will extend to wide receiver DeVante Parker, who also has been told he will not be playing.
Parker said two days ago he believed the plan for him was to play but that was immediately after coming back from a hamstring injury that kept him out of practice for over a week. The Dolphins want to make sure Parker gets more practice work before testing his hamstring in a game.
Parker will play in next weeks preseason game at Dallas barring any setbacks during the week of practice.
The defensive absences mean veterans Chris McCain, Terrence Fede and perhaps even Andre Branch will get plenty of opportunities to help sort out the ample depth the Dolphins seem to have at defensive end. If Branch plays, a likelihood, he would start.
Veteran Jason Jones is not expected to play.
With Suh not playing and Earl Mitchell back in South Florida nursing a calf injury, the starting defensive tackles should be Chris Jones and Jordan Phillips and both could play extended downs.
On offense, rookie Leonte Carroo, who worked with the first unit in Parker's absence, will be on the field with the starters when the offense is in a three-wide set.
Most healthy offensive starters are scheduled to play against the Giants. That includes starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, starting left tackle Branden Albert and starting center Mike Pouncey. Starting receivers Jarvis Landry and Kenny Still are also scheduled to play barring a last minute change in warmups.
The first team offensive line is expected to be Albert at left tackle, Dallas Thomas at left guard, Pouncey at center, Billy Turner at right guard and Ja'Wuan James at right tackle.
First round draft pick Laremy Tunsil is expected to play a lot -- possibly at both left tackle and left guard -- replicating work he's been getting in practice.
Jay Ajayi is scheduled to start at running back. Arian Foster, also being managed as he regains his form after a ruptured Achilles in 2015, will not play, Gase said earlier in the week.
Gase has said the amount of time his offensive starters are in the game will depend on a "feel" he'll get during the game, but it is clear those starters will not be felt much beyond early in the second quarter assuming the unit gets a couple of good possessions.
Bad possessions and who knows what Gase might do.