A six-pack of Dolphins notes on a Thursday:
▪ De’Von Achane admits feeling nerves before his first NFL game on Sunday. But those quickly dissipated after he was hit on his first and only carry of the game, a five-yard run.
His NFL debut “was fun, exciting,” he said. “When you run out of the tunnel in an away game, in that moment, you know you’re in the NFL.”
With Salvon Ahmed sidelined the past two days by a groin injury, Achane appears in line for more carries in Sunday’s home opener against Denver.
As it stands, Achane would back up Raheem Mostert.
Dolphins coaches believe Achane, who was inactive in Week 1, is ready to help.
“He has vision, explosiveness, burst,” running backs coach Eric Studesville said. “He’s a complete back. We will be anxious to see him utilize... those” skills.
Last season, Dolphins receiver coach Wes Welker said there were challenges getting receiver Erik Ezukanma lined up correctly. Has any of that playbook knowledge been an issue with Achane?
“Nothing glaring,” offensive coordinator Frank Smith said. “We’re excited for his growth and look forward to his future as a Dolphin.”
Achane said he opted not to keep the football from his first NFL carry but “I will keep my first touchdown.”
▪ Thursday’s Dolphins injury report confirmed that receiver Jaylen Waddle remains sidelined by concussion protocol. He could conceivably exit protocol as late as Sunday morning, but the team seems to be preparing to play without him.
Cornerback Xavien Howard returned to practice after a rest day on Wednesday.
Running back Salvon Ahmed (groin) remained sidelined Thursday.
Beyond Ahmed and Waddle missing practice, these Dolphins were limited Thursday: left tackle Terron Armstead, safety Elijah Campbell, defensive tackle Raekwon Davis, linebacker Jaelan Phillips and tight ends Julian Hill and Tyler Kroft.
Tyreek Hill, who was limited Wednesday with an ankle injury, practiced fully on Thursday and is no longer on the injury report.
▪ What happened to Phillips’ back during last Friday’s practice, resulting in him missing the New England game?
“I just moved weird and my back kind of spasmed on me, so I spent the 48 hours after it happened doing everything I could to get right for the game,” he said. “Frankly, I felt pretty good to go but obviously it’s a long season. Got to play everything smart. So I think ultimately it gave my back some rest and now I’m feeling great, feeling healthy, ready to go.”
Phillips was listed as limited Thursday because he’s stil getting treatment on the back.
As for Armstead, he could play Sunday if his body responds well to Thursday’s practice. Asked if playing Sunday is realistic, Armstead was non-committal but said “eyes on Sunday.”
Armstead is listed on the injury report with back, ankle and leg injuries. “That’s just the stuff that I told them about,” Armstead cracked.
▪ A few notable things from Tyreek Hill on Thursday: He said former Chiefs teammates and others “are fascinated by our offense, the way coach has been motioning. They’re like, ‘Bro, where did that come from?’ I’m like, ‘I have no idea.’
“Guys around the league are fascinated about what we’re doing down here in Miami. It’s a copycat league. I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see it here soon throughout the league.”...
Asked if having the best offense in the league is important to him, Hill said “having the best offense, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that as a competitor?... Being the highest paid receiver in the league, I want to be the best at everything I do, not only individual stats, but also as a team... Our presnap penalties are down. Guys are moving fast out of the huddle at practice and it’s translating to games. Guys knowing where to line up.”...
Hill, on the possibility of Waddle missing Sunday because of concussion protocol: “We would love Jaylen to play. Love him like a brother. [But] health is everything. In the NFL, the mindset is next man up. That’s how we’ll approach it....
“Jaylen obviously makes our offense more explosive, more dangerous. We have two guys on the same team who can do literally the same thing [himself and Waddle]. A lot of people are going to be shocked seeing Braxton [Berrios] show out if Jaylen doesn’t play.”...
And on the potential of receiver Erik Ezukanma: “Just look at him, he’s 6-2, 210. He’s built almost like [Terrell Owens] a little bit, freakish, very athletic. Having myself in the room with him, helping him develop into that next level receiver, even though we have two different playing styles, I still stay on him about working hard, teaching him the small nuances that I know in the offense.”
▪ Center Connor Williams said Thursday that he takes responsibility for the mishandled snaps with Tua Tagovailoa over the first two weeks of the season.
“We’re working on it,” Williams said. “We’re going to get it fixed. We’re working countless hours on it. We’re going to get it fixed. I take responsibility for them. He’s fine. Maybe I’ve been short and pulled them here and there. I need to be consistent on it. I think we’ll be good moving forward.”
▪ Quick stuff: Fangio said by the way he calculates it, the Patriots ran only 20 times for 63 yards against his defense, because he doesn’t count quarterback scrambles…
Count ESPN’s Domonique Foxworth - the former NFL players union director - among those saying the Dolphins are now the best team in the AFC…
Running backs coach Eric Studesville, on Mike McDaniel’s mission to his coaches: “Do something that is different and unique than what everyone else is doing.”...
Phillips called Van Ginkel “one of the most sneaky athletic people I’ve ever met.”...
Here is the television regionalization map for Sunday’s Dolphins-Broncos game, which will be seen in 22 percent of the country and announced by CBS’ Kevin Harlan and Trent Green...
CBS said its lead team, Jim Nantz and Tony Romo, will call Dolphins-at-Bills on Oct. 1.