Dolphins receiver Jaylen Waddle is scheduled to practice Friday afternoon, keeping alive hopes that he could emerge from concussion protocol and potentially play on Sunday against visiting Denver (1 p.m., CBS).
Waddle remained in concussion protocol as of midday Friday, and some practice work is permitted for players who have advanced past the initial stages of protocol. Waddle could play if he’s removed from protocol as late as Sunday morning.
Mike McDaniel did not want to speculate on the chances of Waddle playing Sunday. Waddle took a hard hit when trying to make a catch during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against New England.
McDaniel said he’s “optimistic” about Terron Armstead’s availability for Sunday. Armstead missed the first two games of the season with back, ankle and knee injuries.
McDaniel said he’s also optimistic that Jaelan Phillips — who missed last Sunday’s game with a back injury — will be able to play.
▪ Kendall Lamm hasn’t allowed a sack, while doing a good job on run blocking, in Armstead’s absence. Pro Football Focus rates him 33rd and Austin Jackson 48th of 71 qualifying offensive tackles through two weeks of the season.
With Armstead due back Sunday, have the Dolphins given thought to playing Lamm at right tackle instead of Jackson?
McDaniel said nobody is bestowed a job, but: “Austin Jackson is playing awesome. It’s on Austin to continue his progress, which I’m very confident he will. If he doesn’t or someone gets hurt, you’re not tied to anything.”
McDaniel added: “You can’t just have a stagnant thought process with regard to that group. You can’t close your eyes and [say or think] ‘this is bestowed to you.’ We’ve made sure to get [Lamm] work on the right side. You don’t crown anyone long-term when you have depth like that. You make sure best players play. The whole season we will make sure we are going in with best crew and each player is best at his position.”
Lamm — who has started 31 games in nine seasons for Cleveland, Houston, Tennessee and Miami — is fine with going back to the bench.
Asked if starting has become more of a goal in light of how well he has played, he said: “I’m happy to be contributing. I have more money than I ever thought I would. I’m very frugal.”
Lamm said he has played more right tackle than left tackle in his career but he’s comfortable at both.
“He’s an ultimate pro,” Armstead said. “He’s a vet, battle tested, he’s strong, he’s smart. Consistency. That’s probably the biggest thing you look for in an offensive line play and he gives you that. He’s consistent. He’s just a worker. Old school, old style. He’s an ultimate pro.”
▪ Couple notable things from Tua Tagovailoa this week:
Asked about fan enthusiasm for this team, he said: “We feel that the city of Miami has been waiting, and they’re ready for a championship. You look at the Heat, you look at the Florida Panthers, I mean, all those guys were able to make it to the final dance. They were able to do special things throughout their seasons. We’re kind of trying to… follow the lead of those guys.”...
Tagovailoa said the importance of timing and being in the right spot is even more important because he’s shorter than many quarterbacks (at 6-1) and because Tyreek Hill, Waddle and Braxton Berrios are all 5-9 or 5-10.
“I would say because I’m not the biggest person, I’m not able to always see over guys and because Tyreek is not the biggest person, Jaylen is not the biggest person, Braxton is not the biggest person; sometimes you’ve just got to feel space for those guys and that’s when understanding where they’re going to be at the time they’re going to be there matters a lot. Sometimes we have to read the play inside out.
“I knew Braxton was going back up on a wheel and so as I kind of peeked towards the middle, I could kind of sense this backside player on the pressure and then I knew Braxton was going to be there.”
▪ If the Dolphins beat Sean Payton’s Broncos, Tagovailoa would set the all-time record for consecutive victories by a starting QB against a Super Bowl-winning coach. He has won nine in a row again championship-winning coaches, which is tied with Bob Griese, Russell Wilson and Jim Harbaugh for the most all time.
“What Tua has been doing has been special,” Dan Marino told CBS 4’s Steve Goldstein.
The Dolphins re-signed their seventh round pick Ryan Hayes (the offensive tackle from Michigan) to their practice squad and cut Cincinnati rookie offensive tackle James Tunstall from their practice squad. The Colts signed Hayes after the Dolphins released him in final roster cutdowns, but Indianapolis released him this week.