Why Ezukanma hasn’t played and why that could change this week. And tight end tryouts

Dolphins rookie receiver Eric Ezukanma could finally make his regular season debut against Buffalo on Sunday if Cedric Wilson Jr.’s painful rib injury makes him unavailable.

The Dolphins’ talent at wide receiver – and coach Mike McDaniel’s confidence in former 49ers receivers Trent Sherfield and Rivers Crockcraft – aren’t the only reasons Azukanama hasn’t been active the first two weeks.

Ejukanma said last Friday that he has been asked to learn a new position. After playing the Z receiver position at training camp and preseason, he said that in recent weeks, he has also been asked to learn the F receiver position.

“Cedric is the starting F and he doesn’t have main backup,” said Azukanama. “F is one of the hardest positions to learn. F is the adjuster that moves in or out. I was playing [only] In the Z season. ,

Ejukanma said that not playing – or even being active – “has been a bit disappointing. [Before the Patriots opener]I was really down on myself. ,

But he also appreciates the thinking of the coaching staff, as it takes time to learn a new position.

“I understand it,” he said. “I have to prove that I can learn the playbook. There is a learning curve.”

Ejukanma said that she continues to find work in the position of Z receiver as well. He knows how to play both Z and F, understanding it will add to his versatility and value to the team.

McDaniel said he told Ejukanma last Monday that while he was inactive, he should “take in the environment .. and be extra detailed on your game plan. He assures the rest of his team that he’s going to have many could plan the game week in and week out from the positions, he would no longer have the problem he understood.”

Wilson’s position for Sunday is in question; McDaniel said Wilson’s ribs hurt “very bad,” but they weren’t broken.

In addition to heavy workloads for elite receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, McDaniel photographs offensive to Wilson, Sherfield and Craicraft, who caught their first NFL touchdown on Sunday, the first of four fourth-quarter TD passes from Tua Tagovailoa. .

The Dolphins will soon face a decision whether to promote Craikraft from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

NFL teams can “upgrade” players to a practice team three times during a season — up from two a year ago — and Crackercraft, which has value on receivers and special teams, has already soared twice.

Azukanama was 12th in the NFL with 156 in preseason receiving yards on 10 receptions.

Receivers coach Wes Welker gave general manager Chris Grier a great recommendation after seeing Azukanama work privately for the Dolphins in Lubbock, Texas, prior to the draft.

“I knew he was coming from the offense he was coming from, where there were a lot of cues, a lot of one-word drama, lining up in the same place over and over, there’s a huge learning curve that could be his Goes along,” Welkar said last month. “He has hit it fast and really attacked this offense and understood how important it is. Because he has physical ability. He has talent and all that stuff,” he said.

tight end workout

The Dolphins – who are missing two tight ends due to injury – worked four tight ends this week: Darrell Daniels, Ryan Izzo, James O’Shaughnessy and Deion Yelder.

Daniels has appeared in 61 games, starting with 18, and has taken 13 catches for 132 yards. He started four games for Arizona last season.

Izzo has played 19 games and made 16 starts and took 19 catches for 316 yards. He appeared in only one game last season (for Tennessee); He was released by Carolina in August.

O’Shaunghenessy has appeared in 80 NFL games and made 40 starts, including six for the Jaguars last season, and 112 career receptions for 1108 yards.

Yelder has played 31 games and made two starts and has 11 career catches for 86 yards.

The Dolphins only had three healthy tight ends available on Sunday: Mike Gesicki, Durham Smyth and Tanner Conner.

Hunter Long suffered an ankle injury last week – it is unclear if it happened in practice – and missed Sunday’s game. Sethan Carter remains in concussion protocol after a Patriots game injury.

Dolphins have no tight ends on their practice squad.

this and that

I Betonline has raised the Dolphins’ odds for winning the Super Bowl from 40-to-1 (less than two weeks ago) to 25-to-1 after Sunday’s win. Only 10 teams have low odds. Miami is ranked 11th with Denver.

Teams with smaller handicaps: Buffalo, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Green Bay, Chargers, Rams, San Francisco, Baltimore and Minnesota.

I McDaniel and Jimmy Johnson are the only Dolphins coaches to start their careers here 2-0. Johnson did it in 1996.

I The Dolphins’ total of 547 yards on Sunday was fifth in franchise history. Team Record: 584 against the Jets in 1988.

I Tagovailoa’s 469 passing yards on Sunday was the fourth in Dolphins history, behind three games by Dan Marino: 521 against the Jets in 1988, 473 against the Patriots in 1994 and 470 against the Rams in 1984.

Tagovailoa’s 36 finishes was the third most in Dolphins history, behind two Marino games: 39 against Buffalo in 1986 and 38 against the Patriots in 1997.

I Not only was Miami’s 28 points in the fourth quarter the highest in Dolphins history, but it also tied for the most points scored by the Dolphins in any quarter in team history. Miami scored 28 points in the second quarter against the Boston Patriots on December 17, 1967.

This story was originally published 20 September 2022 at 12:22 pm.

Barry Jackson has written for the Miami Herald since 1986 and a Florida Sports Buzz column since 2002.

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