Defensive end William Hayes will miss the rest of the season because of the knee injury he sustained during the 28-20 victory against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Hayes tore his right ACL in the first quarter when he sacked quarterback Derek Carr, one play after dropping Doug Martin for a loss on a running play.
It’s the second time in two years that Hayes has seen his season end prematurely because of an injury. He was sidelined in 2017, his first season with the Dolphins, because of a back injury.
Hayes leads the Dolphins with two sacks.
“It hurts,” Head Coach Adam Gase said. “He’s one of our leaders, probably one of our best guys in the locker room, best run defender. That’s going to be a tough one for us to swallow.”
Gase said Monday the other three players who left the Oakland game because of injuries — defensive end Andre Branch, tight end A.J. Derby and linebacker Chase Allen — still were being evaluated. He added he was not concerned any of those injuries would be season-ending.
Davis dabbles on defense: Because of the injuries to Branch and Hayes, combined with the ejection of defensive tackle Akeem Spence, the Dolphins found themselves short on big bodies for their goal-line defense, which is why they turned to starting guard Jesse Davis in the third quarter. Davis lined up as a defensive tackle on a third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, but he wasn’t able to help the Dolphins keep running back Marshawn Lynch from scoring with a dive over the top. “We ran out of options,” Gase said. “I was kind of hoping we didn’t have to put somebody who was starting on our offensive line.” This wasn’t the first time on defense for Davis, who also was used in certain goal-line situations in 2017.
Gut feeling goes right: Gase said the jet sweep that produced Albert Wilson’s 74-yard touchdown right before the two-minute warning was not executed particularly well in practice last week, though that obviously didn’t stop him from calling the play. “That looked terrible all week, but it felt right,” Gase said. “Sometimes you’ve just got to go with your gut. It was the right time. You just knew that Albert would make the right decision and he knew what he was going to do. It looked good in the walk-through.”
Pass or run?: On both the Wilson and Jakeem Grant touchdowns off the jet sweeps, Ryan Tannehill gently tossed the ball almost straight up as the receivers ran in front of them, making both pass plays instead of running attempts. Gase was asked whether the play is designed that way because it’s sometimes been run with the quarterback simply handing the ball off to the player in motion. “I’ve seen it done both where they’ve done it that way and I’ve seen them hand it off before,” Gase said. “We had a Wednesday practice and they handed it off because it was raining. I’m good with either way as long as he doesn’t drop it.”
Parker’s play: In his first action of the 2018 season, DeVante Parker ended up playing 33 offensive snaps, the second-most among Dolphins wide receivers behind only Kenny Stills. Parker was targeted three times and ended up with two catches for 40 yards, including a key 36-yard reception in the third quarter that sparked the Dolphins’ comeback from a 17-7 deficit. “I thought he made a really big play,” Gase said. “Seeing him and Ryan hook up on that takeoff, I thought it was a great catch. His hands were late as far as getting them out to where the DB couldn’t get his up. I thought it was a great job, good hook-up, considering they haven’t really hit that route since training camp. That was good see. I think that he did a lot of little things right that nobody really notices. I thought his run blocking was good. I thought a lot of his routes looked really good, it’s just the ball didn’t go there."