Written by Steven Wilson at 8:00 AM EST | Twitter: @stevenjwilson11
With Knowshon Moreno already lost for the season, the Dolphins backfield took another hit in their 37−0 rout of the Chargers this past Sunday. Lamar Miller, who has started every game this season and is the team’s leading rusher, suffered an AC joint sprain, which is also known as a separated shoulder.
“Usually, I don’t notice that much when a different [running back is in the game],” said Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor this week. “If Lamar needs (rest) and he comes out, very infrequently do I start calling the game differently. Sometimes if it is long-term, we would have to think about it and consider what they do best because I think that’s what the smart thing is to do what guys do best.”
Miller, who is on pace to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark this year, leads the team with 518 yards on 106 carries and a whooping 4.9 yards-per-rush average. Besides Ryan Tannehill, reserve Daniel Thomas is the only other back available this week who has over 100 yards rushing this season (101).
“He’s come in there, every opportunity he’s had, it looks like he’s been running the ball physically, and tough,” said Head Coach Joe Philbin about Thomas. “I think he had a nice screen there as well. I like what he’s doing. He’s really making a nice contribution.”
When asked about Miller’s condition Lazor stated, “I don’t have any information on Lamar, but I think Daniel (Thomas) and Damien (Williams) are playing quite a bit. They both played quite a bit.”
Against San Diego, Thomas had nine carries for just eight yards, while Williams had 11 attempts for 28 yards.
“For the most part, we don’t have a million different runs,” Lazor continued. “For the most part, [all the running backs have] been working out all the runs that we do well. The most important thing in my mind what a running back has to do is pass-protect. I don’t mean to gloss over holding onto the football. We want big plays, but guys have to be able to pass-protect because the whole team is counting on them to do that. I think we’ll be able to trust all of them.”
According to ProFootballFocus, Thomas has a 0.5 pass blocking rating, while Williams is −0.5. Against the Chargers, Williams was graded −0.9 for his pass blocking.