Dolphins Rumors

Dolphins Bench Tagovailoa, He'll Remain Starter

  • Tua Tagovailoa‘s honeymoon as the Dolphins’ quarterback came to an end Sunday in a loss to the Broncos. Tagovailoa struggled mightily during the defeat, and was pulled for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Speaking after the game, head coach Brian Flores confirmed Tagovailoa did not have an injury and was benched for performance. That being said, Flores also wasted no time declaring that his rookie will be his starter next week, meaning we’ll have to wait again for our first dose of Fitzmagic. Tagovailoa was 11/20 for only 83 yards before getting pulled during the loss, which snapped Miami’s five-game winning streak. He’ll have a get-right spot against the Jets next week.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/21/20

Here is Saturday’s usual flood of minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Football Team

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/18/20

Here are Wednesday’s practice squad moves:

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Signed: CB Trajan Bandy, CB Donnie Lewis

Houston Texans

  • Signed: WR Artavis Scott

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Placed on practice squad reserve/COVID-19 list: DL David Irving

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

  • Signed: DT Nick Thurman
  • Activated from practice squad IR: TE Jake Burt

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/18/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Activated from IR: OL Phil Haynes
  • Placed on IR: CB Neiko Thorpe

Tennessee Titans

Jets Beat Dolphins, Ravens, Others For Pat Elflein

The Jets, at least, have achieved something this year. On Monday, the Jets beat out five other NFL teams on the waiver wire when they picked up former Vikings offensive lineman Pat Elflein, a source tells Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Jaguars, Bears, Dolphins, Ravens, and the Washington Football Team all tried to claim the veteran, but the Jets’ 0-9 record gave them the upper hand. 

Elflein started 15 games at guard in 2019, and he started the 2020 season opener before suffering a torn thumb ligament. That injury forced him to the injured reserve list. And, after returning to practice three weeks ago, his IR-DTR window had recently come to an end. Therefore, the Vikings had no other choice than to activate Elflein. One day later, they released the 26-year-old lineman.

The former third-rounder earned a spot on the All-Rookie Team in 2017 after starting 14 games at center for the Vikings. He played the same role in 2018, but he was switched to guard in 2019 after Minnesota drafted Garrett Bradbury in the first round of that year’s draft.

Elflein’s injury has hindered him, but he now says that he’s fully healthy. And, although his rookie contract will expire at the end of the year, the Jets will have the opportunity to evaluate him and potentially lock him up before he can reach the open market in March. The advanced metrics have never been fond of Elflein’s work, but quality linemen are in short supply, and plenty of teams were eager to take the low-cost risk before the Jets won out.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/16/20

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: LS Rex Sunahara

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Washington Football Team

The Panthers were going to land Stevens as an UDFA back in April before the Saints snagged him in the seventh-round. He was recently cut from New Orleans’ practice squad last week. Stevens is a diverse athlete who played a Taysom Hill-esque role at Penn State before transferring to Mississippi State for the 2019 college season. His signing could be an indication the Panthers are worried about Teddy Bridgewater‘s status for Sunday, but since they had previous reported interest in Stevens it could be completely unrelated.

Dolphins Extend DT Zach Sieler

The Dolphins have been arguably the best story in football this season, and now they’re locking up one of their diamond in the rough finds. Miami has extended defensive tackle Zach Sieler through the 2023 season, the team announced Monday.

He had previously been set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the year. A seventh-round pick of the Ravens in 2018, the Dolphins claimed him off waivers from Baltimore in December of last year. He played in a few games for Miami down the stretch, and showed enough to earn a role in 2020. The Dolphins’ defense has been one of the biggest surprises in the NFL as they’ve played at a very high level recently, and Sieler has been a big part of the turnaround.

He’s played in all nine games this season, starting three, while notching right around half of the defensive snaps. So far he has 26 tackles, four for a loss, 1.5 sacks, and eight quarterback hits. We don’t have the financial terms yet for the Ferris State D2 alum, but we’ll pass those along as soon as we get word.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Release RB Jordan Howard

This is breaking news. Please refresh for updates.

Jordan Howard‘s time in Miami has come to an end. The Dolphins have cut the running back, head coach Brian Flores announced during his press conference on Monday.

Interestingly, Flores deemed it a “mutual parting,” which likely has something to do with Howard being frustrated with his limited role. Even though he’s a vested veteran since it’s this late in the season, Howard will be subjected to waivers. We heard a couple of weeks ago that Howard might be available in a trade, but clearly there weren’t any takers. Still, he could be a target of some contending teams looking for running back help.

Howard signed a two-year, $9.75MM deal with Miami back in March, and they proved to regret it almost immediately. He started the first two games but only carried the ball 13 times for 11 yards, and quickly took a backseat to Myles Gaskin and Matt Breida. He’s mostly been inactive recently. All told, he’ll finish his Dolphins tenure with a pitiful 33 yards on 28 attempts through five games, although he did score four touchdowns.

A fifth-round pick of the Bears in 2016, Howard became Chicago’s starter as a rookie and spent his first three seasons as their lead back. The Indiana product slowly fell out of favor with Matt Nagy, and was shipped out to Philadelphia before the 2019 season. Last year with the Eagles he was relatively productive, rushing the ball 119 for 525 yards and six scores. Howard’s salary isn’t guaranteed for 2021 and he’s only owed around $721K for the rest of this year (per this tweet from Field Yates of ESPN.com), so it’s certainly not inconceivable that a team will claim him.

Dolphins Promote WR Antonio Callaway

Antonio Callaway is getting another shot. In the wake of Preston Williamstrip to IR, the Dolphins are promoting Callaway to their active roster for today’s game against the Chargers, as Adam H. Beasley and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald write.

The ‘Fins signed Callaway to the practice squad in September, even though he still had three games of last season’s 10-game suspension to serve. Shortly thereafter, he was hit with another four-game ban, so he continued to sit on the club’s practice squad suspended list.

Miami’s WR depth was already thin to begin with after Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns opted out of the season, and Williams’ injury has further depleted the club’s cadre of pass catchers. So Callaway, who has a ton of talent but who has struggled with substance abuse issues, will have a prime opportunity to reestablish himself.

He also finds himself in the middle of a playoff race. The 5-3 Dolphins are one of this year’s biggest surprises, and Miami suddenly looks like a postseason contender. The team is hopeful that Callaway, who posted a 43/586/5 line in his rookie season with the Browns in 2018, will provide rookie signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa with a reliable option to complement DeVante Parker.

Unfortunately, Beasley and Jackson report that Williams is likely to miss the remainder of the season with a foot injury, which could lead to an extended audition for Callaway. But the Florida product and Miami native can’t get complacent, as the Dolphins are also working out Ricardo Louis and Andre Patton. Callaway, of course, has much more upside than either player if he stay out of trouble.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Activate Kyle Van Noy From Reserve/COVID-19 List

SATURDAY: Van Noy’s most recent close contact with a coronavirus-stricken person must have come several days ago. The Dolphins activated the linebacker off their reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, putting him on track to play in Week 10. Van Noy’s final coronavirus test of the week must come back negative Sunday morning in order for him to suit up against the Chargers, but this will certainly help an improved Dolphins defense. Wilkins remains on the team’s reserve/COVID list.

THURSDAY: The Dolphins may be without two key defenders against the Chargers on Sunday. The team placed Christian Wilkins and Kyle Van Noy on its reserve/COVID-19 list.

While the Dolphins removed rookie Lynn Bowden Jr. from the COVID list on Thursday, practice squad wide receiver Matt Cole landed on it as well. A Dolphins staffer tested positive for the coronavirus last week. It is not known if Wilkins and Van Noy’s Thursday designations are related to that case. Van Noy’s placement stems from contract tracing, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets.

Unless Wilkins and Van Noy last came in contact with someone who tested positive prior to Tuesday, they will be forced to miss the Dolphins’ Week 10 game. The NFL requires high-risk close contacts to isolate for five days. This would certainly affect Miami’s hopes at winning a fifth straight game.

A 2019 first-round pick, Wilkins has been a Dolphins starter for two seasons. Van Noy followed Brian Flores from New England, signing a four-year, $51MM contract this offseason. Van Noy has recorded two sacks and 33 tackles this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.