A frightening incident in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s preseason finale was followed by great relief on Sunday, when Dolphins rookie receiver Daewood Davis was released from a Jacksonville area hospital and returned to South Florida.
Davis lay motionless on the ground for more than 10 minutes after absorbing a very hard hit while trying to catch a pass. He was carted off, and the teams then agreed to cancel the final 8:32 of the Jaguars’ 31-18 win.
Davis was attempting to catch a pass from rookie quarterback James Blackman when he was wrapped up and swung to the ground by cornerback Kaleb Hayes. Linebacker Dequan Jackson appeared to deliver a blow to Davis’ back and was penalized for unnecessary roughness. Davis is in concussion protocol.
“He’s in the building and doing better than last night in terms of strength,” McDaniel said. “There were certain things we worried about that were avoided.”
While disaster was averted with Davis, the Dolphins received tough injury news on defensive back Elijah Campbell, who sustained a serious knee injury.
“He avoided one thing but there was a substantial injury that will take him into the season,” McDaniel said, saying there’s a “chance” he will play again this season. He does not have an ACL injury.
If Campbell is placed on injured reserve before the team sets its 53-man roster on Tuesday, then he would miss the season unless the sides reach an injury settlement.
Running back Salvon Ahmed - a third player to leave Saturday’s game with an injury - passed neurological tests after an apparent head or neck injury and is “day to day,” McDaniel said. He’s not in concussion protocol.
The Dolphins already were without a dozen injured players entering the game. That includes starters Jaylen Waddle (midsection) and Terron Armstead (leg), who both remain optimistic about being ready for the Sept. 10 opener at the Chargers.
Asked if running back Jeff Wilson Jr. and guard Liam Eichenberg will be ready for the season opener, McDaniel said Eichenberg is “getting better with an extremely painful thing he’s dealing with. Jeff is going through painful midsection things, on top of a finger he’s dealing with.”
He said both would have played Saturday “if it was up to them.”
Isaiah Wynn has started the past two games at left guard, a position that Eichenberg handled when healthy last season.
THIS AND THAT
McDaniel addressed other issues during his Sunday news briefing:
▪ On Zach Sieler’s three-year contract extension through 2026: “We’re happy to get that done. I was fired up, as were a lot of his teammates. Zach epitomizes such an important thing with the journey of an NFL player. He’s been cut twice. The timing as far as it relates to the team couldn’t be better for the next 48 hours for guys who aren’t able to make the 53.”
▪ On ongoing talks with Christian Wilkins about his contract status: “There are a good amount of players on this team we want to keep around. They’re really independent of each other.”
Wilkins sat out the past two preseason games and 11 on 11 practices for two weeks while waiting to see if Miami would give him a new contract. He’s due to make $10.7 million this season, provided he plays. McDaniel implied the sides were still working on trying to get an extension done.
▪ Mike White cleared concussion protocol on Friday, and McDaniel said he won’t announce the No. 2 quarterback until he informs White and Skylar Thompson, who have been battling for the job. McDaniel said he will announce his decision publicly in a week.
Thompson threw two interceptions against Jacksonville but McDaniel said “the second interception is something I don’t put on him at all. There was a protection missed assignment…. He didn’t see the defender.”
White didn’t play Saturday because he was in protocol most of last week.
▪ McDaniel said the team has received no indication whether the NFL will suspend Tyreek Hill for a confrontation with a man at a marina this summer. Hill and the man reached an out-of-court settlement, but that has no bearing on the NFL’s decision. The league has declined to answer when asked if the matter is closed.
▪ The Dolphins must cut their roster from 90 to 53 by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, and McDaniel said the team has “more NFL players than NFL spots.”