Dolphins DC Josh Boyer takes ownership of third-and-17 play call; injury updates for Buffalo game – The Denver Post


Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Josh Boyer answered for his play call on third-and-goal from the 17-yard line right before halftime in Sunday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday, the first time he has spoken to reporters since the game.

Boyer trotted out an alignment where eight defenders were at or near the goal line. If the call was intended to merely keep the Chargers out of the end zone on that play, it worked in that regard — barely. But Los Angeles ran a screen to running back Austin Ekeler that allowed him to gain 16 yards, leaving one yard for him to plunge in for a touchdown on fourth down.

“I definitely think that I probably could’ve put the guys in a better situation than that,” Boyer said. “It was third-and-17, I didn’t want to give them a 1-on-1 shot into the end zone. That was kind of the thought process. We had a personnel grouping out there for sure that probably would’ve been a better call, similar concept, but probably would’ve been a better call. The timeout, I probably overthought it a little bit.”

Boyer had a different formation on the field before the Chargers called a timeout ahead of the third-down call.

“I’m fine with the thought process,” Boyer said. “I wish I would’ve put them in a better situation on that, but at the end of the day, we still had an opportunity to come off the field with no points because there was a play after that.”

Boyer added he’s generally pretty hard on himself over his calls that don’t go well.

“I put a lot of calls on myself,” he said. “Every play call of every game, I would say there’s nobody more critical of it than myself. The first play of the second series, I wasn’t very happy with that call, but nobody that’s watching the game is going to think much of that call one way or the other.”

The play call Boyer’s referring to, for the record, resulted in L.A. picking up 19 yards on a short pass to receiver Mike Williams. That second series resulted in a Chargers field goal early in the second quarter, the first points of Sunday night’s game

Player status updates

While Dolphins left tackle Terron Armstead and running back Jeff Wilson returned to practice Thursday after being listed as non-participants on the Tuesday and Wednesday injury report, coach Mike McDaniel wouldn’t reveal much on where they stand when he spoke ahead of Thursday drills.

Thursday was the team’s lone true practice after holding a walkthrough on Wednesday and not practicing Tuesday following the long travel from Los Angeles following Sunday night’s loss to the Chargers that resulted in the team returning to South Florida early Monday morning.

McDaniel did offer some of what he has seen from Armstead this week as he deals with a combination of pectoral, knee and toe injuries.

“I saw an energetic and exuberant Terron Armstead in meetings,” McDaniel said prior to Thursday drills, “so that’s good.”

McDaniel said of safety Eric Rowe and his hamstring injury, “I don’t think we will be seeing him on Saturday night.”

Fellow safety Elijah Campbell remains in concussion protocol, but he progressed to the point of participating in team drills Thursday in a red, non-contact jersey.

McDaniel also would not reveal much on whether left guard Liam Eichenberg will be in uniform Saturday. He called it a “50-50″ proposition, but last week, McDaniel said he would feel good about Eichenberg’s availability for this week.

Miami will release game statuses with the team’s Thursday injury report later. Along with Wilson’s hip, the Dolphins are also monitoring wide receiver River Cracraft’s calf injury after he didn’t practice all week.

The Bills already released theirs. Guard Ryan Bates (ankle) and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (shoulder) are out. Linebacker Matt Milano is expected to play.

This story will be updated.



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