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The Blitz: Jackson on his Return to the Lineup, Lessons Learned

November 12, 2020

Game days feature a bevy of rookies running around making plays for this Miami Dolphins team. Safety Brandon Jones hit a key block on defensive end Shaq Lawson's scoop-and-score – the first touchdown of his career.

"I saw two offensive linemen then I saw my boy Brandon come in with the big block and I'm like, 'oh yeah I needed that.'" Lawson said.

Rookie offensive linemen Austin Jackson, Robert Hunt and Solomon Kindley have played a combined 988 snaps up front for Miami. On the other side of the trenches, defensive end Jason Strowbridge made his NFL debut with his first career tackle while Raekwon Davis has 14 stops. Receivers Malcolm Perry and Lynn Bowden Jr. have both recorded touches on the offensive side. Cornerback Noah Igbinoghene has 253 defensive reps under his belt and returned two kickoffs for 36 yards Sunday in Arizona. Finally, the team is 2-0 in games started by rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Tagovailoa made his second start with some reinforcements on the offensive line. Jackson was back after missing three games with a foot injury. Yesterday, we heard from the No. 18 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft about his return to the lineup.

Here's what's happening today in Davie.

Wednesday Injury Report

Dolphins: The Dolphins placed wide receiver Preston Williams (foot) on injured reserve.

Running back Matt Breida (hamstring), cornerback Jamal Perry (foot) and tight end Durham Smythe (concussion) were limited participants in Wednesday's practice.

Chargers: Running back Justin Jackson (knee) did not practice on Wednesday.

Defensive end Joey Bosa (concussion), guard Trai Turner (groin) and tackle Bryan Bulaga (back) were all limited participants at Wednesday's practice.

For the rest of the Dolphins-Chargers Week 10 injury report, click here.

They Said It

Austin Jackson is one of the three rookies to start on the offensive line this year for the Dolphins. After playing the first 244 snaps of his NFL career, Jackson missed three games before entering the lineup in the second quarter against the Cardinals.

Football is supposed to be fun. First and foremost, Jackson was excited to be back on the field with his brothers.

"It was exciting to play in my first game back," Jackson said. "Watching them play for so long, it was fun to come back and be part of the fun."

Jackson acknowledged the benefits of learning more of the mental side of the game as he worked to come back from the foot injury.

"I had a chance to look at more film and really study defenses," Jackson said. "Learning defensive movements and defensive alignments. And then the extra hours in the weight room and the training room, those helped too while I was out."

Still, some things can only be learned on the job.

"Learning that spatial awareness where you're moving in the pocket for an offensive lineman is big," Jackson said. "Getting back used to that was a challenge. For the most part I feel like I prepared myself to not leave a drop off for the team."

Around the Beat

The Dolphins lost a member of the family Tuesday with the passing of former Defensive Coordinator George Hill. Hill, who was 87, was a member of the Dolphins staff from 1989-99.

Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post has more.

Dolphins on Social

On this Day in Dolphins History

November 12, 1995 - Dan Marino becomes the NFL's all-time career passing yardage leader as he jumps past Fran Tarkenton (47,003 career yards) with a nine-yard pass to Irving Fryar in the first quarter of the Dolphins' 34-17 loss to the New England Patriots at Joe Robbie Stadium.

Stat of the Day

In two starts, Tagovailoa has completed 8-of-9 passes that travel between 10-19 air yards for 120 yards and a touchdown. He's continuing the success in that area of the field that he displayed in college. In 2019, Tagovailoa was 32-of-51 with 727 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions on throws that traveled between 10-19 air yards.

Know the Chargers

Nobody blitzes at a lower rate than the Chargers; they bring an extra rusher on just 11.9 percent of their snaps, per Pro Football Reference. They showcase the strength of their front four with a 22.9 percent pressure rate, 11th-best in the NFL.

Content On Tap

Thursday is feature day on and the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield. We'll hear from Adam Shaheen who gives us an inside look at the Miami tight end room and the bond shared between he, Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe.

Plus, we'll hear from Head Coach Brian Flores and Dolphins players and recap it all on Top News.

Thursday also means the return of The Audible with Kim Bokamper and John Congemi. The guys sit down (virtually) with wide receiver Mack Hollins, who caught his first pass as a member of the Dolphins in Sunday's 34-31 win in Arizona.

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