Dolphins’ Brian Flores addresses injuries with Fuller, Phillips, Howard and other issues

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Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores said Saturday that injuries to rookie linebacker Jaelan Phillips and receiver Will Fuller will not sideline them for weeks.

Asked if their injuries were more day to day than week to week, Flores said: “Phillips and Fuller are day to day. Both are getting rehab and working to take care of their bodies. We won’t see either one today, but they’re working to get back. Hopefully they’re back as quick as possible.”

Phillips left Friday’s practice with an undisclosed injury. Fuller has been sidelined for three days with a foot issue.

Xavien Howard, who has asked for a trade, is working his way back from a minor ankle injury.

“I talked to Xavien today,” Flores said. “He’s getting better. There’s a chance we will see him [Saturday]. But if so, it will be modified individual work. We want to ramp this back up.”

Flores addressed other issues before the fifth day of training camp:

▪ On fans being welcomed back to practice beginning on Saturday: “Excited. People are excited to get fans back at practice. Didn’t have them there last year. And the year and a half we’ve had, away from the sports from a fans standpoint.... We’re excited to get them back in the building. We love our fan support. We’re looking forward to it.”

▪ On the offense and the fact it looks good: “Offensively, defensively and the kicking game, we’ve got three days install, four days including today. Guys are working hard to learn the information, communicate on a play to play basis and execute their individual assignments. We’re getting good work from the guys from that standpoint. Also trying to work in new players and players at new positions. I’m pleased where we are right now. Obviously, a long way to go. We’ve seen small improvements from Day 1 to Day 2 to Day 3. That’s what you’re looking for.”

▪ On there being more big plays on offense: “I’m glad we’re putting the ball in the air because it needs to work both ways. Defensively, we don’t want to give up any big plays. Offensively, we want to create explosive plays. From Tua to Albert [Wilson] to [Jaylen] Waddle to Mike [Gesicki], get good protection, execute offensively. Conversely, it’s an opportunity to coach and teach defensively. We can’t miss an assignment here or we will pay the price. There’s a lot of back and forth in practice, and that’s the way it should be. It’s a competitive camp.”

▪ On center, where Michael Deiter and Matt Skura and Cameron Tom are competing: “The center position for me is a signal-calling position. It’s a leadership position. From a play standpoint, there is a lot of communication and you’re involved with a lot of other players on combination blocks. There’s a nice little competition there with Deiter and Skura and Cam. They’re all doing a good job, all working hard. We don’t have pads on, so it’s still very early. We will have a better evaluation this time next week.”

Pads come on Tuesday.

▪ With only three preseason games instead of four, will game two now serve as a regular season dress rehearsal?

“We don’t have a final answer how we’re good to approach the game; we had a pretty good idea,” Flores said, not elaborating.

The Dolphins are not holding a scrimmage this preseason, unlike past years. He said the joint practices with the Bears and Falcons will essentially replace those.

▪ Flores didn’t say who would call the plays this season but indicated he has a plan on that; George Godsey and Eric Studesville are co-offensive coordinators.

▪ Flores addressed two players who missed last season with injuries.

Linebacker Vince Biegel, coming off an Achilles injury, “looks good. Still working his way back a little bit. Running well, looks strong. We’ve ramped up his reps from the first three days. Pleased with him in all areas. Doing a good job in walkthroughs and practice. He’s our kind of guy: tough and smart and team first.”

And defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter, who hasn’t played since the opener of 2019 because of three different injuries, is progressing.

“Led has dealt with injuries his first two seasons,” Flores said. “He’s excited to be out there. He’s done a good job also. When we had him as a rookie, he showed some good things. Felt good about him then. I’m excited to see him throughout camp.”

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