The Dolphins’ injury situation is fluid entering December, but there was some cautiously optimistic news from Mike McDaniel on Monday.
Left tackle Terron Armstead, who left Friday’s game with a quadriceps injury, is expected to return at some point in December.
“He’s going to be pressing me hard to play this week,” McDaniel said. “I see it as a week to week injury. We’ve going to have to find a middle ground.”
If Armstead cannot play, Kendall Lamm likely would start at left tackle on Sunday in Washington, presuming Lamm’s back injury doesn’t worsen. Lamm played eight offensive snaps late in the Jets game when Miami was short a lineman.
McDaniel said he is “very optimistic” about Lamm being available on Sunday “because of who he is.... You want to talk about an absolute warrior that has become a big fixture in our locker room. I wouldn’t put it past him to be able to play. This week,... there are obstacles we have to get through.”
On another front, running back De’Von Achane did not return from his knee injury last week because the team wanted to be cautious on a short week. His status for Sunday’s game at Washington (1 p..m., Fox) will be determined later this week.
Regarding the decision to sit Achane last week, McDaniel said with “all things involved, all variables, knowing the [Jets] team we’re going against -- they’re always physical, always fast - and the short week” all factored in.
“You are taking a full work week and cutting it in half almost,” McDaniel said. “Short weeks, you are already putting your body through a blender. I felt good about what Raheem [Moster] and Jeff [Wilson] were bringing to the table. It didn’t seem as prudent [to bring him back].”
Regarding the Washington game, McDaniel said Achane will want to play and “I’ll be closely evaluating everything he does. I want to be fair to him.”
Achane missed four games with a sprained knee, came off IR, played only three snaps in his first game back before injuring the same knee and missed the Jets game. McDaniel said Achane would not risk serious injury by playing.
Meanwhile, rookie running back Chris Brooks - out since Oct. 15 with an ankle injury” - “is pretty close to being able” to practice. Once he practices, the Dolphins will have 21 days to activate him from injured reserve.
Miami can bring back only two players on IR or the NFL’s non-football injury list for the remainder of this season, with the requirement that those players have missed at least four games.
Linebacker Jaelan Phillips, who is headed to IR, is out for the season. Guard Isaiah Wynn (quadriceps) might not be able to return off IR, based on McDaniel’s previous comments that he has a “long journey” ahead with his rehabilitation. Erik Ezukanma (neck) is on the non-football injury list, but Miami is deep at wide receiver.
On the possibility of Brooks possibly coming off IR in the weeks ahead, McDaniel mentioned “negotiating all the other hoops involved in that.”
Once a player is designated to return from injury - which happens the first day he practices - that player counts toward the eight maximum players than a team can bring back off IR in one season.
As for Phillips, McDaniel said he has “consulted with a lot of different” people in the wake of his season-ending Achilles’ injury.
Phillips will make a decision on the precise surgery he’s having, and a date, in the next 24 hours, McDaniel said, adding that Phillips and the team “want to make sure we have all the information and all the directions he can go.”