Wide receiver Jakeem Grant’s breakout season is unfortunately over.
Grant will have surgery and will be going on injured reserve because of the lower leg injury he sustained in the game against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 11.
“Nothing really changed; it was just getting the results of everything and getting our options,” Head Coach Adam Gase said on Monday. “The good thing is he didn’t tear his Achilles. He’s able to get a procedure done to where we can get him back a lot sooner and still fix the things that we need him to get fixed to where he can alleviate a lot of the pain that he’s been going through. It’s unfortunate for us because I felt like he was having a really good year. He was doing a lot for us. Once again, it’s a crushing blow for a guy that gives you everything he has.”
Despite being limited to 10 games, Grant established a career high in his third season with 21 receptions, good for 268 yards and two touchdowns. Grant also ranks second in the NFL in both punt return average (16.3) and kickoff return average (29.7), and is the only player in the league this season with both a punt return and a kickoff return for touchdowns.
Fellow wide receiver DeVante Parker also left the Green Bay game because of an injury (shoulder), but his wasn’t nearly as serious. In fact, Gase didn’t rule out the possibility that Parker could play against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Cornerback Bobby McCain remains in the concussion protocol as the result of a blindside block in the Green Bay game.
Tannehill talk: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill, as scheduled, did some throwing last week and Gase said he threw passes as long as 50 yards. But Gase said he wasn’t sure whether Tannehill would throw when practice starts this week on Tuesday — a change in the schedule because players will be off on Thanksgiving. “That is a discussion I still have to have with him,” Gase said. “I need him to just shoot me straight and tell me where he’s at and we’ll go from there. Obviously, practice is going to come up here quick and then I’ll have a better idea.” As for the chances of Tannehill playing against the Colts, Gase said: “I don’t know. I’ll find out here in a little bit. I really don’t know. I’m not going to rule him out because if he comes to me and is like, ‘I feel great’ … We can’t be wrong of starting the week one way and then flipping back or vice versa of we get to Friday and all of a sudden it’s, ‘I feel like I can go.’ It just doesn’t work. It’s just hard enough for a quarterback as it is when you get all the reps during a week of practice. We’ll kind of see how it goes.” Regardless of what happens, the events of last week were a step in the right direction. “Yeah, he can throw it down the field now,” Gase said. “It looks good now. It looks good. It’s just all about how many times. It’s always just constantly that conversation of, ‘How you feeling?’ I’m sure it’s annoying to him. I’ll ask the same question so many times where he’s like, ‘Enough.’ But I don’t know how he feels. I’ve just got to go off what he tells me.”
Breaking down the bye: While he gave his players the week off so they could recharge, Gase said he took advantage of the bye week to evaluate every facet of the Dolphins. “We kind of broke some things up just to look at some different situations and schemes and the whole gamut, and see what had happened, where can we make some improvement, where can we make some changes,” Gase said. “It’s one of those things where you want to really focus on that stuff and at the same time you’re trying to get a little bit recharged. It’s been a while, really a couple years, since we had one of those.” Gase said the self-scouting only reaffirmed what he had seen in the first 10 games of the regular season. “It’s really about what’s the solution,” he said. “That’s really what we focused on. We feel like we have some things that we can help ourselves with. There’s some things where if we can just get a little bit of improvement, it could put us in some better situations. If we had some better execution sometimes in some of the situations, that would really be ideal, especially in the red zone on both sides of the ball.”
Catching the Colts: Gase revealed himself as a big fan of the Red Zone Channel, though he doesn’t often get the chance to indulge. He did watch Sunday, which gave him the opportunity to get a quick look at the Dolphins’ next opponent, the Indianapolis Colts, who won their fourth in a row with a 38-10 rout of the Tennessee Titans. “Watching them, you could see Andrew Luck is looking like what he used to look like,” Gase said. “Arm strength looks good. And everybody else kind of starts feeding off of that and their defense is playing fast. They’re making a lot of good plays and creating turnovers and flying around and getting to the ball and creating negative plays. I mean, there’s a reason why they’re winning games.”
Drake delivers: Running back Kenyan Drake took advantage of the Dolphins bye Sunday to host a Thanksgiving Dinner for the Boys & Girls Club in Broward. Drake frequented the Boys & Girls Club as a youth in Georgia and he’s never forgotten, going out of his way since joining the Dolphins to give back to the organization. “Being able to do this with these kids,” Drake said, “let them know that there are people out here that care about them, that want them to do well, I feel like it’s important.”