Top News: Patrick Laird Prepared For Potential Opportunity

Running back Patrick Laird has played a big role on special teams after making the 53-man roster as a rookie free agent, but he’s now looking at the possibility of getting his first action on offense.

Laird led the Dolphins in rushing yards in the preseason, but the carries at running back so far this season have been split among Kalen Ballage, Kenyan Drake and Mark Walton. With Drake now in Arizona and Walton suspended for the next four games, Laird’s time has potentially come.

“Yeah, it’s exciting, but I’m treating this week like every week this season – just come in, prepare, learn the game plan and try to execute in practice,” Laird said after practice Wednesday. “I felt solid about my preseason performance and the coaches had good feedback for me. We have a lot of good running backs on this team, but like I said, every week I’ve just come in, prepared, so if I ever do get an opportunity, then I’m ready to go.”

Laird, who has played in the past seven games after being inactive in the season opener, is among nine players on the team who have played at least 100 special teams snaps.

“I love doing whatever I can to help the team win,” he said. “If you’re a rookie in this league and you want to play, special teams is sometimes the best opportunity you have. I’ve loved playing on special teams. I didn’t play in the first game, but every other game I’ve been starting special teams and I love that role on this team and I’ll do it for as long as I can.”

Baker goes viral

Linebacker Jerome Baker said he just had to laugh when he saw the video clip of himself mic’ed up and looking for his mom in the stands at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday.

The clip clearly was a big hit.

“My social media has been going crazy,” Baker said. “A lot of people just laugh at it. It just shows my personality, really. My mom was in town, so when she’s in town, I kind of look for her as much as I can. I usually don’t look at the tickets before the game, but the day before I looked and it was Section 103, Row 10. So I kept trying to glance over and try to count up – 10 rows up – and I just couldn’t find her. I kind of forgot I was mic’d up."

Baker said it actually took a while for him to find his mother in the stands, which he accomplished when Nik Needham sacked Sam Darnold in the fourth quarter.

Asked his reaction when he saw the video, Baker said: “I was dying laughing. I really forgot (I was mic’d). So I usually know at the beginning of the game I’m mic’d up. So I kind of get all of my whatever out. But once the game starts, you kind of forget you’re all mic’d up. So I’m talking to my teammates just how I talk to them. I said something funny and ‘Kwon’ (Raekwon McMillan) was laughing and I remember I looked over and the guy that has the headphones on and is recording it, he started laughing. So I’m like, ‘Hold on, hold on, you can hear me?’ And I said it (out loud). He’s like ‘Yeah.’ I was like ‘Aw, snap.’ (laughter) I just kind of forgot that (I was) mic’d up. You just forget about it and just play and have fun with it. When I’m out there, that’s the most fun I have every week, so it’s definitely cool.”

New wide receiver

Rookie Gary Jennings filled the Dolphins’ one roster opening when he was claimed off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks.

The 2019 third-round pick from West Virginia was tied for sixth in the FBS ranks last season with 13 receiving touchdowns, one less than Dolphins rookie Preston Williams, who had 14 for Colorado State.

In 2017, Jennings was fourth in the country in receptions with 97.

Backing Brissett

Head Coach Brian Flores is very familiar with the starting quarterback of the Dolphins’ next opponents, the Colts’ Jacoby Brissett.

The two were together in New England for the 2016 after Brissett was selected in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft. Brissett was traded to Indianapolis on Sept. 2, 2017.

“He’s a great kid,” Flores said. “I loved spending time with him. He’s smart. He’s got great leadership. He’s got a presence about him where guys rallied behind him pretty quickly early in his career. I was very impressed with Jacoby and I’m not surprised at all that he’s playing the way he is.”

As it turned out, Brissett’s first NFL regular season action came against the Dolphins in Week 2 of the 2016 season after starter Jimmy Garoppolo was injured.

Brissett sustained a knee injury last week and Colts Coach Frank Reich said he was day-to-day. If he can’t play against the Dolphins, their backup is Brian Hoyer, who also spent time in New England with Flores.

Injury Report

The Dolphins had their longest injury list of the season Wednesday, though the good news was that only one player didn’t practice — cornerback Ken Webster.

Webster has missed the past two games with an ankle injury he sustained in the Monday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Seven players were listed as limited participants in practice, while another seven were listed as full participants.

The seven limited were S Walt Aikens (hip), C/G Evan Boehm (hip), DT Davon Godchaux (shoulder), S Reshad Jones (chest), C Daniel Kilgore (knee), DE Avery Moss (ankle) and DT Christian Wilkins (toe).

The seven players listed as full participants: G/T Jesse Davis (elbow), QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (right shoulder), LB Trent Harris (foot), CB Chris Lammons (ankle/toe), S Bobby McCain (shoulder), LS Taybor Pepper (shoulder) and WR Albert Wilson (hip).

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