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Friday night Dolphins tidbits: LB, Parker, Personnel moves and more

Fifteen Friday night Dolphins notes:

### The linebacker situation is worrisome Sunday, with Jelani Jenkins doubtful with a sprained ankle and Koa Misi questionable with an abdominal injury.

That means a group of Neville Hewitt, Kelvin Sheppard and Misi on Sunday if Misi plays, as the Dolphins hope.

If Misi has a setback, then it's Hewitt, Sheppard and some combination of Mike Hull, Zach Vigil and Chris McCain. Spencer Paysinger, like Jenkins, also is doubtful.

McCain has split time this week between defensive end and linebacker.

"We're beat up a little bit, but we've gotten those young guys a ton of reps," Dan Campbell said. "We feel much better about Koa than Jelani."

### What do the Dolphins like about undrafted rookie Hewitt, who played decently in his first extended work last Sunday?

"He's a guy who made a lot of plays at Marshall," Campbell said. "He has a knack about it. He runs well. He's not a big guy, but he's pretty quick. He diagnoses things fast for a rookie and he's aggressive. He does do a good job in coverage."

Hewitt said he got scholarship offers from only two Power 5 conference schools: South Carolina and Purdue.

That's better than Zigil, who had no scholarship offers and walked on at Utah State.

### You've got to love Campbell's bravado.

Asked about the matchup between Ndamukong Suh and Cowboys guard Zack Martin (a first-round pick), Campbell said:

"I'll put my money on Suh any day. The way the guy is playing, what he's made of, I've got a lot of respect for Martin. He's a good player. But I'm putting my money on Suh any day, any time."

### Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo said the cornerback competition opposite Brent Grimes will be an open competition each week and declined to commit to a starter for Sunday.

Jamar Taylor got a lot of first-team work and might start. But Bobby McCain and Brice McCain will also play a lot regardless, with Brice McCain working in the slot.

### Campbell said having Grimes shadow the opposing team's top receiver "has been good for us, has been productive for us overall. It helps everybody. There was a rough game against [Buffalo's] Sammy Watkins, but Brent wasn't feeling great that game."

### Campbell said the Dolphins have “changed some things schematically that I think are going to help” on third down. Miami ranks 31st in third-down conversions and last in fourth-down conversions.

### Campbell was non-committal about whether DeVante Parker would play more after not playing at all against Philadelphia.

"DeVante had another week of practice; it was better than it was last week," Campbell said. "We plan on taking him to the game [meaning one of the 46 active]. Hopefully, he gets more reps than zero. It can only go up from there."

### Campbell said he's somewhat concerned about continuing to use a player with a hand injury on kickoff returns (Damien Williams).

But "the thing is healing up pretty fast and I believe it’s something he can do," he said. "I think the risk is always going to be there somewhat, but we’re a little bit limited in who we can use too. We certainly could use Jarvis Landry, like we did in the beginning of the season, but we certainly don’t want to wear Jarvis out.”

### Campbell summarized Sunday's challenge thusly: "We have to find a way to create momentum early. [Tony Romo] needs to find Suh in his face a few times. If he gets going early and doesn't feel anything and gets in rhythm having been off [seven] weeks, that's where we can get into trouble. We need to score and score early. And not just three points. We need touchdowns."

### Campbell on his offensive tackles: "Branden Albert is playing good football and he's only getting better. Jason Fox had a solid week last week. He looks like he's playing with a lot of confidence. I feel like he's going to have a good game for us."

### But Campbell said one reason the team hasn't maximized the receiving skills of the tight ends is that they've been needed to help on pass protection. 

### Dolphins' offensive rankings: 19th in yards per game and 25th in points but 10th in yards per play and fourth in rushing yards per attempt. They're first in gross punting average. Weeee!

### Dolphins' defensive rankings: 26th in yards, 20th in points, 23rd in yards per play, 31st in rushing yards per game, 21st in third-down efficiency.

### Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor asserted that Ryan Tannehill's pocket presence "is much improved over what he was last year."

### Fox is sending the game to 11 percent of the country (see 506sports.com for a map), with the network's No. 2 team (Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch) on the call.

Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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