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Ex-Heat player decides not to wait to see if Heat offers; Twenty Dolphins nuggets from Monday: Roster news, injury updates, position battles

Please scroll to the bottom for a 5 p.m. Heat note. Twenty Dolphins notes from today:

### The Dolphins’ 2014 draft class, its first under Dennis Hickey, sustained its first roster casualty on Monday. Tight end Arthur Lynch was released before ever playing a snap in a regular-season game.

Lynch, selected in the fifth round (125th overall), spent his rookie season on injured reserve because of a back injury sustained after the Draft. Known as a functional blocker at Georgia, Lynch never developed as a downfield receiving threat.

“I’m sure he’ll get another opportunity at some other point,” coach Joe Philbin said, adding that Lynch is a "great guy" but wasn't considered among Miami's top five tight ends, in the staff's opinion.

### Lynch’s departure leaves Gerell Robinson, Jake Stoneburner and Tim Semisch competing for the third tight end job behind Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims. Miami ultimately might consider waiver wire options for that roster slot.

Philbin was non-committal about whether Miami will even keep three tight ends. “We have to keep the 53 best guys that will help us win regardless of how many tight ends that ends up being,” he said.

### To fill Lynch’s roster spot, the Dolphins signed former Texas El Paso linebacker James Davidson, who appeared in two games as a rookie for the Giants last season.

### For the first time during training camp, left tackle Branden Albert took a handful of snaps in 11 on 11 drills as he works his way back from major knee surgery last November. The Dolphins have expressed optimism that he should be ready for start of the regular season. (Armando has more on his blog on that.)

### With Dallas Thomas continuing to work with the starters at left guard, the Dolphins gave rookie Jamil Douglas some snaps as the first-team right guard, though Billy Turner took the majority of those right-guard snaps with the starters. Douglas opened camp competing with Thomas at left guard.

“It’s a world of opportunity,” Philbin said of Douglas. “One of the things for young linemen is you want to challenge them to a certain degree to see what they’re capable of handling.”

### Beyond DeVante Parker and Don Jones (who are on PUP), only two others missed practice: Koa Misi (calf) and Jordan Tripp (ankle). Tripp, who was off crutches, said he has no idea when he will be able to play. Parker jogged around the perimeter of the field (a sign of progress) but Philbin said he was uncertain of his timetable and didn’t rule out an appearance in a preseason game, which seems ambitious.

Kenny Stills returned after missing two weeks of practice with a calf injury; Adam Beasley will have a lot more on Stills later on the home page.

### Philbin said Carolina coach Ron Rivera called him months ago and suggested the joint practices that the teams will hold at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., before playing Saturday night in Charlotte, N.C. 

This marks the first joint training camp practices in Philbin’s four years as coach.

“Last year, I almost did it with Atlanta, but it was the first week and that didn’t fit the way I wanted to install our offense, defense and special teams,” Philbin said. “If I were going to do it, it was going to be during the second week.

“I’m on a subcommittee with Ron; I think he’s a really good coach, a good person. We spoke on the phone. We met in Indianapolis. We met again at the league meeting and talked some things over. It just fits perfectly, schematically on both sides of the ball.”

Philbin cited another incentive to do this: “As I’ve told the team, we’ve got to get used to winning on the road. Let’s be honest --- That’s going to be a key to our season. We’ve got seven out of nine games away from Sun Life Stadium to start the season.”

Ryan Tannehill said “it’s going to be a game-like atmosphere every day in practice up there. Competition’s going to be high.”

### Tannehill said the Dolphins intend to “consistently continue” to “use my legs in the run game with the zone-read.” 

### Tannehill said “we would like to get” tight end Jordan Cameron “the ball probably a little bit more than he’s getting it right now. In the red zone, he’s definitely going to be a threat for us all year.”

### Terrence Fede had two more sacks at Monday’s practice, the final one open to the public at the team’s Davie facility this year. Seems like we’re writing this every day.

### Caleb Sturgis hit field goals from 41, 46 and 51 but missed from 47.

### Tannehill overthrew Jarvis Landry on one deep throw but hit Stills in stride on a 40-yard pass, beating Brice McCain.

### Brice McCain had a tough day, incidentally; he was beaten several times.

### The undrafted rookie linebackers continue to have their moments. Neville Hewitt tipped a Tannehill pass Monday. Zach Vigil remains the leader of that group.

### It’s very difficult to envision him making the team barring injuries, but receiver Cobi Hamilton continues to impress us. He stretched out on the sidelines to make an impressive catch against Tony Lippett on Monday. Hamilton, by the way, was on the Bengals' active roster for their playoff game last year.

LaRon Byrd also has had a good camp but had a drop Monday. Tyler McDonald, who was re-signed Saturday when injured Tommy Streeter was waived, had two drops.

### Derrick Shelby, entering the last year of his contract, has had a solid camp. He snuffed out a Landry reverse for a six-yard loss.

### Greg Jennings had three consecutive catches for sizable gains and continues to find ways to get open.

### The Dolphins continue auditioning returners so that they don’t feel compelled to give Jarvis Landry every single return. Christion Jones (back from injury), LaMike James (his name of choice), Damarr Aultman, Brent Grimes and Stills all got work Monday.

### Philbin, asked to assess his backup running backs: “It’s still an open competition. Damien [Williams] has had a very good camp and LaMichael James has flashed things. Jay Ajayi we want to get more evaluation on. Mike Gillislee has done a lot of good things; unfortunately he had the fumble the other night. He’s been running the ball well in practice.”

### Though it’s clear McLeod Bethel Thompson and Josh Freeman aren’t going to be here come Sept. 7 barring injuries, Joe Philbin said: “This week in practice is big for both of them. We told them right from the get go that obviously I think they both know, they’re both pros, that’s not acceptable quarterback play. They need to both improve and they need to compete to see who’s going to go into the game next.”

Both had 21.9 passer ratings in Thursday’s game at Chicago.

### NBA note: Dorell Wright, who had been in contact with the Heat, has decided to sign to play in China, freelance NBA writer David Pick reported. Yahoo! reported later that Wright's deal has no NBA out.

The Heat has maintained contact with Wright's agent and said it wanted to keep in touch but had not made an offer to him and had given no indication if it would. Wright did not want to wait around any longer.

Twitter: @flasportsbuzz