Before the trip out west, the Dolphins announced a pair of roster moves. Offensive tackle Austin Jackson will be placed on injured reserve and the team will call up running back Salvon Ahmed to the active roster.
Final Injury Report
|DE Shaq Lawson||Shoulder||Out|
|TE Durham Smythe||Knee||Out|
|WR Jakeem Grant||Illness||Questionable|
San Francisco 49ers
|CB K'Wuan Williams||Knee||Out|
|CB Emmanuel Moseley||Concussion||Out|
|CB Dontae Johnson||Groin||Out|
|DE Ezekiel Ansah||Biceps||Out|
|RB Raheem Mostert||Knee||Questionable|
|WR Deebo Samuel||Illness||Questionable|
|CB Ahkello Witherspoon||Hamstring||Questionable|
Jackson started the first four games at left tackle for Miami. When he went down vs. the Seahawks, veteran Julién Davenport stepped in without allowing a single quarterback pressure in 25 pass-blocking reps, per Pro Football Focus.
Davenport talked on Thursday about the improvements he made from 2019, his first in Miami, to his first game action of 2020.
"I feel a lot more confident in my technique, my sets, my pad level," Davenport said. "It's a big emphasis for me. I worked real hard on things like that in the offseason. I'm still not perfect. I'm still working to improve on all of those little aspects and then some."
Davenport is one of a few options the Dolphins have to fill in for Jackson. Friday, Head Coach Brian Flores was asked if Davenport will start at left tackle Sunday in San Francisco.
"We practiced a few different combinations throughout the week," Flores said. "I have to watch the practice film before I make that decision. Julién played well throughout the week and he's certainly in the mix."
The Dolphins will also be without defensive end Shaq Lawson, who suffered a shoulder injury Sunday vs. Seattle. Lawson picked up his first sack of the season in that game and logged 200 snaps in the first four games (79 percent of the defense's snaps).
Defensive tackle Zach Sieler has seen an increase in his workload the last two weeks. After playing 20 snaps in the first two games combined, Sieler played 57 in the Jacksonville and Seattle games combined.
Friday, Sieler talked about the challenges the 49ers running game presents to a defense.
"They motion a lot and guys are moving around," Sieler said. "Ultimately, I think the key to us stopping the run game would be everyone on the defense reading their keys, striking their man, doing their job, not trying to do too much."
Sieler and the Dolphins defense could see Jimmy Garoppolo return to the lineup after a two-game absence as the 49ers quarterback. Flores was on the New England staff when Garoppolo was a member of the Patriots. Friday, the Dolphins Head Coach talked about Garoppolo and his expectation that he will start the game.
"I expect Jimmy to play," Flores said. "If he's close, he'll be out there, and it sounds like he's close. He's tough, competitive, he's got a quick release. He's got some athletic mobility to step up and pick up yardage with his feet. He's got good accuracy and good leadership."
Regardless of who starts at quarterback for the 49ers, Dolphins cornerback Nik Needham says communication will be the key.
"We have to tighten up," Needham said. "There's been some communication errors and we've been working real hard to fix that. We just have to execute and we'll be fine."
This trip is the first of a two-game road trip out west. After the team's first ever visit to Levi's Stadium, it's back home for a week of prep before a flight back to Denver.
Today on Drive Time with Travis Wingfield, we'll talk to former Fins tight end Randy McMichael about the Dolphins' last win in San Francisco (2004) and next week, we'll have former Miami receiver Marty Booker on to talk about the 2005 season-opening win vs. Denver.
As always, MiamiDolphins.com is your home for the latest news and analysis on your Miami Dolphins. The 49ers preview, John Congemi's three keys and the Fins Flashback stories are all available now. Plus, catch up on all five episodes of Drive Time with Travis Wingfield from this week, hear from defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah on The Audible and the latest edition of The Fish Tank with Keith Jackson.