Miami (4-3) is in a must-win spot Thursday night against a red-hot Houston Texans (4-3) ballclub that has rang off four consecutive victories, after opening the season 0-3. As it has all season, the injury bug struck, yet, again, in Sunday’s 32-21 loss to the Detroit Lions.
WR Albert Wilson sustained a leg injury after a 25-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter, WR Kenny Stills suffered a groin injury late in the fourth quarter, and LB Jerome Baker limped off in the second half. As it stands, expect WR DeVante Parker, who has missed six of Miami’s seven football games, to see a lot of action Thursday night.
The Texans secured a 20-7 victory Sunday at Jacksonville, taking over first-place in the AFC South. Houston leads the all-time series, 7-1-0. Miami has never defeated Houston, in Houston (0-4).
Date: Thursday, October 25
Time: 8:20 p.m.
Site: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
TV: Fox/NFL Network
Line: Hou -7, O/U: 45
Radio: Dolphins Radio Network, KISS 99.9 FM, 560 WQAM, 1210 WNMA (Spanish)
Radio Announcers: English broadcast- Jimmy Cefalo, Bob Griese, Joe Rose, Kim Bokamper; Spanish broadcast- Raul Striker Jr., Eduardo Martell
Five Players to Watch
1. QB Brock Osweiler: Osweiler will be Miami’s man under center for the third consecutive game, as QB Ryan Tannehill recovers from a right shoulder injury. This is set up as a revenge game for Osweiler, who was a one-year starter for the Texans in 2016, tallying eight wins and six losses.
2. RB Lamar Miller: Miller, the former Miami Dolphin, has gained 371 yards on 95 carries this season. Miller attended the University of Miami, and spent four seasons with the Dolphins (2012-’16). He's also set for a revenge game, as the Dolphins defense allowed a total of 248 rushing yards against the Lions.
3. WR DeAndre Hopkins: Hopkins is third in the National Football League in receiving yards (707), trailing Minnesota’s Adam Thielen and Atlanta’s Julio Jones. Hopkins will present a tough challenge for Miami’s cornerbacks, led by Xavien Howard and Bobby McCain, who made his return to the field last Sunday versus Detroit, after missing weeks five and six due to an injury.
4. DE J.J. Watt: Through seven football games, Watt has recorded 7.0 sacks, good for top five in the league. Dolphins LT Laremy Tunsil and RT Ja’Wuan James must fortify the line of scrimmage throughout, or it will get ugly in a hurry.
5. CB Xavien Howard: Get your popcorn ready. Howard is expected to cover Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins, all while the two exchanged some comments this week. When asked about Hopkins, Howard responded with, “I mean, he always pushes CB’s off, that’s why he is always open.” When asked about the type of player Xavien Howard is, Hopkins sincerely said, “Who is Xavien Howard?”
This story was written by Brandon Liguori. Follow him on Twitter: @BLiguori98
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