Running back De’Von Achane, who has missed four games with a knee injury, looks in line to potentially return for Miami’s next game.
Achane is eligible to return off injured reserve before the Dolphins’ next game, Nov. 19 at home against Las Vegas, and that game appears to be a target. The Dolphins are off next weekend.
Achane is “so far, so good” and there “hasn’t been any reason” to think he will be on IR longer, coach Mike McDaniel said.
He’s averaging an eye-popping 12.1 yards on 38 carries. Once he’s designated to return, he will become the sixth Dolphins player designated to return off IR, joining Jalen Ramsey, Terron Armstead, Robert Jones, Jeff Wilson and River Cracraft (who remains on IR).
Over an entire season, teams can bring a maximum of eight players off injured reserve after they miss four games. Isaiah Wynn, Chris Brooks and Erik Ezukanma remain on IR for the Dolphins.
Meanwhile, McDaniel said the Dolphins were awaiting test results on guard Robert Jones’ hyper-extended left knee. “Nothing on that yet,” McDaniel said. Jones was scheduled to have an MRI on Monday.
Jones missed the first six games with a right knee injury. Jones played 49 snaps at left guard on Sunday; Liam Eichenberg played the 14 that Jones missed.
Right guard Robert Hunt, who missed the Chiefs game with a hamstring injury, is progressing. The team didn’t believe the injury was serious enough to place him on injured reserve.
McDaniel addressed other issues during Monday’s media briefing:
▪ Asked about the decision to go to an empty backfield on first down late in the game, after Raheem Mostert gained 25 and 19 yards on runs, McDaniel said:
“Im hyper aware of the fact you just ran for 40 yards in two plays, [and some might say] run it again. It definitely was on my mind... Every play that doesn’t work, you say probably you should do the other thing... I don’t pass the buck of responsibility.”
Mostert motioned across the field on that first down play from the Chiefs 31 yard line and 1:17 left. Miami ended up passing on first, second and third downs, and all three passes were incomplete, with a miscommunication between Tua Tagovailoa and Cedrick Wilson Jr. torpedoing a third down throw in which Wilson had a step on a Chiefs defender in the end zone.
Tagovailoa couldn’t corral an errant Connor Williams snap on fourth down.
▪ The Dolphins arrived back from Germany at 3 a.m. Monday and had meetings and film review later in the day.
“It was hard to watch the tape,” McDaniel said. “That hurt is healthy, though. It’s not that we’re not good enough. That’s what the feeling of the locker room is -- [that] when we lose, we beat ourselves. There have been three teams that have really taken advantage of that. That has nothing to do with our opponents, as much as they deserve credit. The Kansas City Chiefs have hardware from the last season.”
The Dolphins are 6-0 against teams with losing records and 0-3 against teams with winning records. Does the team need to prove to itself that it can beat winning teams on the road?
“I don’t think our team is in need” of needing to prove it to themselves, McDaniel said. “That narrative will continue until we change it. I don’t think that’s something that is in the back of our team’s mind. I don’t think we’re losing games because we don’t believe. Good teams have made us pay when we... shortchange our execution, fundamentals and technique.”
▪ The Dolphins will practice on Tuesday before players get five days off during the bye.
During that time, “you can always assess what you can do better,” McDaniel said of himself. “I should be proactive finding things that can be done better. I always am looking critically at how I’m approaching everything.”
▪ Armstead, who returned Sunday after missing four games with a knee injury, said Monday that he feels fine now.