Top News: Finalizing The Roster

With the 2018 preseason now over, the Dolphins will move on to the next order of business: getting down to the 53-player roster limit before 4 p.m. Eastern time Saturday.

The Dolphins currently have 90 players on their roster, meaning they will have to remove 37 players.

Head Coach Adam Gase made clear after the 34-7 victory against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday that he doesn't particularly care for that aspect of the job.

"This is the worst part because you've been together since April," Gase said. "We're not a team that really changes out a lot of guys. We try to give everybody a duration of training camp and our preseason games to prove themselves one way or another. Now it's the least fun a part of the job."

Gase certainly was right when he said the Dolphins don't "change out" a lot of players. They have made only three player transactions since the start of training camp — signing running back Jeremy Langford and defensive tackle Kendall Langford, and releasing defensive tackle Gabe Wright.

As a reminder, the Dolphins can activate two players off injured reserve after they have been on IR for at least eight weeks. For example, linebacker Mike Hull, who hasn't practiced since sustaining a knee injury in the preseason opener against Tampa Bay, would not necessarily be out for the season should he be placed on IR on Saturday.

The next step: You might hear the term "final roster" after the cuts are made Saturday, but that's not accurate because teams still will be doing some adjustments Sunday. NFL teams have until 1 p.m. on that day to put in waiver claims for players who were cut Saturday. If multiple teams put in a claim for a player, the claim priority is the same as the 2018 draft order. That means the Dolphins have the 11th priority spot for waiver claims. That order will remain unchanged until the Tuesday following the third regular season weekend when it will be based on the 2018 standings. For reference, the Dolphins claimed two players off waivers the day after the roster cuts to 53 last year: kicker Cody Parkey (from Cleveland) and linebacker Justin March-Lillard (from Kansas City).

Preseason precedent: With the victory against Atlanta, the Dolphins ended the 2018 preseason with a 1-3 record, only the fourth time in franchise history they had that mark. It previously happened in 1990, 1995 and 2015, and the Dolphins went on to make the playoffs in two (1990, 1995) of those three years.

Preseason numbers: The Dolphins were fourth in the NFL in the preseason in rushing yards per attempt at 4.66. The team's four rushing leaders in the preseason, led by Kenyan Drake with 102 yards, all averaged 4.4 yards or better. Wide receiver Albert Wilson led the Dolphins in the preseason in receptions with nine, while Francis Owusu had a team-high 111 receiving yards. In the passing game, Ryan Tannehill led the Dolphins both in completion percentage (74.4) and passer rating (99.0). On defense, the Dolphins were tied for seventh in interception rate. Miami had four interceptions by four different players in the preseason. Defensive end Robert Quinn's three sacks were tied for ninth in the NFL, behind three players with four and five with 3.5.

Going all the way: While the Dolphins and Falcons rested many of their players Thursday night, three Miami players put in a full night's work — literally. Center Mike Matthews and guard Isaac Asiata played all 84 offensive snaps (including penalties) for the Dolphins, according to the official gamebook, while safety Maurice Smith played all 61 defensive snaps. The Dolphins ended up with 80 plays on offense, excluding penalties, their highest total in any game since Dec. 1, 2013 when they also had 80 plays in a 23-3 victory against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

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