Top News: 10.13.17

Posted Oct 13, 2017

Wide receiver Jakeem Grant already has seen more action this season on offense, and he could in line for even more playing time against the Atlanta Falcons if DeVante Parker can’t play because of his ankle injury.

Grant says he’s more than ready for that challenge.

“If he can’t go, I’m going to have to pick up and there has to be no slack-off,” Grant said Friday. “That’s exactly how I prepare and I’m going to continue to do that as well because you never know when your number is going to be called. Like Coach (Shawn) Jefferson always tells us, stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.”

Grant has two catches on the season, including his first career reception against the New York Jets on Sept. 24.

Head Coach Adam Gase said Grant deserves credit for how hard he has worked on his game since the end of his rookie season last January, at the same time saying there have to be adjustments with him in the game considering Grant is 5 feet 7 and Parker is 6-3.

“You never know what you’re going to get,” Grant said. “If DeVante is in, big guy, big fast guy. I’m the quick guy and I can take a slant ball to the house. So can ‘Vante.’ I call him Big Monster and then I’ll be like, I’m the little monster. I’ll pick up whenever you need a breather or anything. I feed off of him. He’s a good guy to look up to and he makes a lot of plays.”

Clemson reunion: The Dolphins have four players on their defense from Clemson University — Andre Branch, Stephone Anthony, Byron Maxwell and Cordrea Tankersley. There will be two on the other side of the field Sunday, Atlanta linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. As one can expect, it’s a tight fraternity, so much that Tankersley and Beasley exchanged jerseys after the Dolphins faced the Falcons this preseason. Tankersley will be making his third NFL start Sunday, and this one offers interesting subplots. One of them is going up against a player he grew up admiring, Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones. “I’m definitely excited about this challenge,” Tankersley said. “It’s what they drafted me here for. It’s what I want to grow up to play against, the great players here. Just have the opportunity to go up against a receiver like that and a team like the Falcons, that’s a great opportunity.”

Underdog mentality: Cameron Wake showed up for his weekly media briefing Friday wearing a T-shirt with a single word on the front. That word was “underdog.” Wake said there was no significance to him wearing the shirt two days before the Dolphins face the favored Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Or maybe there was. Maybe it was a coincidence. Maybe it wasn’t. You be the judge. “You all have great ideas,” Wake said. “It could be any and all. You know my story and the team’s story. It’s a badge of honor for me. I’ve always been counted out. Every opportunity to be counted out, I’ve been counted out and every opportunity I just keep putting my head down and work. I don’t think the team would be any different. I don’t think the defense would be any different. I’m sure a lot of people would agree. So … whatever.”

Close to home: Linebacker Koa Misi, who is spending the season on injured reserve because of a neck injury, has started a GoFundMe page to help the residents of Santa Rosa, one of the cities most affected by the California wildfires. Misi was born in Santa Rosa and played at Montgomery High School, where he was an Honor Roll student. Misi has set a goal of $10,000 on the GoFundMe page. Here was Misi’s message: “My name is Koa Misi. I play for the Miami Dolphins and I grew up in Santa Rosa California. It's is so saddening to see your hometown in such distress. Because of these fires over 20 people have lost their lives, hundreds are missing and many homes have burned to the ground. At a time like this all I can think to do is help in any way that I can. As of now my family is ok but there are far less fortunate people having to deal with the disaster of these fires. All the money raised will go towards food, water, cots for the shelters and anything else these people need in this trying time. These things will be purchased and taken directly to shelters and distribution centers. Any little bit will help. Thank you all so much for your help. Not just from me but from all of the people that are in need. It is much appreciated.” People can donate by going to: 

A day for dialogue: Safety Michael Thomas and wide receiver Kenny Stills will be among the NFL players who will be in New York next Tuesday for the owners’ meetings, where the issue of the national anthem and social causes will be discussed. “I think it’s huge,” Thomas said Friday. “For everybody who’s been involved from the jump to actually go up there, sit face to face across from the new owners, the commissioner, the PA (Players Association) is going to be there and actually have conversations and figure out solutions of how we can address the issues that these African-American players feel like need to be addressed in their communities and how the NFL and the owners can help and support us instead of it feeling like painting the picture, a false narrative of it’s players trying to take down the NFL, it’s players against the law officers, players against the country, the flag and stuff like that. No, we’re trying to do something positive. They finally hear us, they see us, and they want to help us. So I think it’s going to be important to, A, be a part of that conversation, and, B, work toward an actual solution. And that’s what we’ve been trying to do this whole time.”