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Dolphins first open OTA session lacked star power, impressive plays

The Miami Dolphins first practice of the offseason that’s open to the media lacked star power since most of the team’s frontline players were absent, or sidelined by injuries during this voluntary session.

With Tua Tagovailoa skipping the work to attend Nick Saban’s charity golf tournament, the Mike White-led practice, which was Miami’s second of the offseason in helmets, featured a ton of short passes.

It also included one impressive interception from new linebacker Anthony Walker Jr., who tipped a White pass intended for a tight end in the air, and pulled it down to create the turnover.

Tuesday’s practice also featured a pair of impressive first-down runs from veteran tailback Jeff Wilson Jr., who took advantage of a defensive line that was working without Jaelan Phillips, who was walking with an extremely noticeable limp caused by the Achilles heel injury he suffered in November, Bradley Chubb, who is five months into rehabbing the ACL tear he suffered in December, and defensive tackle Zach Sieler, whose reasoning for his absence was unknown.

Wilson, who took a pay cut this offseason to remain in Miami, where he’s competing with Salvon Ahmed, Chris Brooks and rookie Jaylen Wright for playing time behind Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane, was the top offensive performer of Tuesday’s OTA session.

OTA OBSERVATIONS

Channing Tindall, the Dolphins’ 2022 fourth-round pick, has been a massive disappointment in his first two NFL seasons. But the 6-foot-2, 236 pound inside linebacker was moving like a safety during Wednesday’s sessions. There was one play where the former Georgia standout ran down a tailback in the backfield for what would have been a loss on a quick check down pass to the sidelines.

Walker’s addition to the inside linebacker unit hints that Tindall has an uphill battle remaining on Miami’s 53-man roster unless he starts diagnosing plays quicker, or become a standout special teams contributor…..

Teair Tart is viewed as the defensive tackle added this offseason with the best shot at becoming a starter, but the fifth-year veteran trailed all of his peers significantly during wind sprints the defensive linemen ran at the end of practice. Tart, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 304 pounds, seemingly needs to work on his conditioning….

Rookie quarterback Gavin Hardison threaded the needle in the middle of the field for a 20-yard pass to tight end Jody Fortson Jr., who signed with Miami this offseason after spending the past five seasons in Kansas City....

Rookie safety Patrick McMorris, who is listed at 6-0 , 206 pounds, fills out his pads well, and moved well during Wednesday’s session.. McMorris’ development will be critical to Miami’s secondary because Elijah Campbell is the only veteran safety behind Jevon Holland and Jordan Poyer, the two projected starters….

With newly signed center Aaron Brewer working on the side with trainers, the Dolphins were forced to have non-traditional centers handle snaps on Wednesday, and Jack Driscoll had two quarterback-to-center exchange issues that could have led to fumbles that became turnovers. The Dolphins traditionally crosstrain interior offensive linemen to play center, which happens to be the position that Liam Eichenberg started at the most last season.

De’Von Achane beat Poyer badly getting downfield on a wheel route that would have produced a big gain, if not a touchdown. While there is some concern about how much speed Poyer has at the ripe age of 33, Achane happens to be one of the NFL’s fastest players.

INJURY UPDATES

Chop Robinson, the former Penn State pass rusher the Dolphins took with the 21st pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, was held out of Wednesday’s work for undisclosed reasons. The rookie was wearing a compression sleeve on his left leg….

Second-year cornerback Cam Smith, who struggled to get on the field as the Dolphins’ 2023 second-round pick, was sidelined with an undisclosed injury. Participating in these sessions would be beneficial for the former South Carolina standout because Jalen Ramsey and Kendall Fuller aren’t participating....

Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Odell Beckham Jr. were not in attendance Tuesday. Braylon Sanders and Chris Brooks did a rehab assignment before the practice they didn’t participate in. Tight end Jonnu Smith also participated in a rehab assignment, but didn’t practice with the offense.