Dolphins’ McDaniel dishes on injuries, Mostert, Long and more
The Dolphins will need to create a roster spot to make room for guard Liam Eichenberg, who could come off injured reserve on Saturday and play on Sunday against visiting Green Bay (1 p.m., Fox).
But McDaniel indicated that the two players who have been out with calf injuries - River Cracraft and Eric Fisher - don’t have season-ending injuries.
“Not extremely serious,” he said of those two injuries. But those injuries have “put their ability to play in this particular game in question.”
Putting either Cracraft or Fisher on IR would be one option to make room for Eichenberg.
Cracraft and Fisher are the only players who did not practice at all Wednesday or Thursday. Neither was seen during the portion of practice open to reporters on Friday.
Terron Armstead, who was spotted on the practice field on Friday, intends to continue playing through three injuries.
McDaniel declined to say if Eichenberg would be activated on Saturday, but that seems likely. He must be activated by Tuesday; otherwise, he would be forced to remain on IR the rest of the season.
Myles Gaskin missed Friday’s practice, but the reason was nothing serious.
Raheem Mostert and McDaniel have built a strong bond from their time together with the 49ers, and McDaniel was thrilled to see Mostert’s 17 carry, 136 yard game against Buffalo.
Mostert has made it back fully from a serious knee injury in the 2021 opener.
“He’s different, unique. He has the fastest recorded times since they’ve been tracking that stuff,” McDaniel said. “And doing it at 28, 29 years old. There have been very few athletes that maintain and hold elite speed through their late 20s and early 30s. The first one that comes to mind is Joey Galloway. He’s in that breadth of rare human beings, rare athletic skill sets.”
When McDaniel spoke with general manager Chris Grier in February, “I was all in and aware that my conviction in the human being might lead us astray at some point. They did their due diligence [with his injury].
“[Against Buffalo], it was really cool for the team to get a taste of Raheem in that way where the team could really benefit from him taking his game to the next level. He had a look in his eye. It was awesome to see [and show], ‘Hey I can do that even though people think I can’t.’
“He’s made of a different cloth, been counted out since he’s been in the league. He will continue to exceed others’ expectations because of his mindset, determination and internal gifts.”
Though Mostert was great against Buffalo, he said: “I know I had a good game but I definitely could have done better with some runs. I left a lot of yardage out there just by not picking my feet up. I know of two instances I could have done better.”
He said McDaniel has remained calm - and not yelled at his players - during this three-game losing streak: “He’s the same level, same copacetic Mike. You can’t get highs too high or lows too low.”
▪ Tight end Hunter Long - who has missed some time with injuries - has played only 66 snaps this season, including six against Buffalo. That’s down from 90 last season.
It will be interesting to see if the Dolphins project him for a far more prominent role if Mike Gesicki leaves in free agency, which is widely expected.
“He’s started to realize how his skill set can fit within this particular offense,” McDaniel said. “He has done a good job with going after it. He’s also done a good job of recognizing there’s another level to his game he can really attack. We like utilizing his skill set. Very happy” with him.
Here’s a look at the Dolphins’ playoff scenarios and Aaron Rodgers’ comments about Tua Tagovailoa.