The Miami Dolphins took the fields at Baptist Health Training Complex just across from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Wednesday for their third practice of the week and the third in front of fans.
With pads on and fans in attendance, there was clearly a lot of energy from Mike McDaniel’s squad, but some of the players that were absent had their presence dearly missed.
Here’s what we took away from the Dolphins’ seventh day of training camp.
The QB donned the orange jersey
After a solid string of practices, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa got the honor of being named the practice player of the day. He wore the orange practice jersey and picked the playlist for the Dolphins to get pumped up to, including some Hawaiian music.
Running back Chase Edmonds, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and left tackle Terron Armstead all were absent on Wednesday due to Miami’s load management plan. This is back-to-back days off for Armstead.
Fullback Alec Ingold and running back Raheem Mostert didn’t participate. They’ve been wearing non-contact jerseys to this point in camp.
Center Michael Deiter remained out with a foot injury.
Cornerback Byron Jones remains out on PUP.
Defensive front owned the line of scrimmage
In 11-on-11s, the front seven was constantly getting pressure on the quarterbacks and blowing up runs at the line of scrimage or in the backfield. They weren’t as strong on Tuesday, but they really bounced back on Wednesday for another impressive performance.
Skylar Thompson looks like an NFL arm
It’s early in his career, but Thompson, the seventh-round pick out of Kansas State, has impressed in recent practices, including his showing on Wednesday.
In red-zone work, he completed an easy touchdown pass to Gerrid Doaks, but he also found Ezukanma a couple of times in 11-on-11s.
If this progression keeps up, he’ll make it a tough task for Miami to cut him with the hopes of signing him back to the practice squad, as they would risk other teams claiming him.
No. 4 WR battle rages on
Ezukanma had himself a great day on Wednesday, making a number of plays, including the two receptions from Thompson in team drills. Teddy Bridgewater also found him in the back of the end zone for a touchdown in red-zone work, and he brought in a great 50-50 during one-on-ones.
Undrafted rookie Braylon Sanders has also put together a great camp to this point, but returning veterans, such as Preston Williams and Lynn Bowden Jr. haven’t made the impact they were expected to.
Hunter Long’s struggles were noticeable
As we look to enter the 2022 season, the Dolphins likely have a hope that second-year tight end Hunter long steps up and takes on a bigger role than he did as a rookie. However, we haven’t seen anything in training camp that shows signs of a jump.
On Wednesday, Long dropped two passes from Tagovailoa, including one attempt where he was wide open and could’ve run for a 30-yard touchdown. He needs to stay and get some extra work with one of the quarterbacks or the Jugs machine to improve his biggest weakness right now.