Thursday, September 11, 2014

Misi likely out, Wheeler hoping to start against Bills


Looks like the Miami Dolphins will be without another starting linebacker this weekend, as current reports have middle linebacker Koa Misi a non-starter for the team's road game in Buffalo.

The news on Misi comes just three days after the team designated Dannell Ellerbe to IR with a hip injury. Misi, dealing with an ankle injury, could see action as early as Week 3, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, though we won't rule him out 100 percent until the final injury report.

Salguero reported early Thursday that both Misi and fellow linebacker Philip Wheeler would be out for Sunday's divisional matchup, though that report was updated later in the day and indicated that Wheeler intends to play after all. The 29-year-old has been battling a thumb injury since before the team's first regular season game.

Either way, coupled with the ailing health of rookies Jordan Tripp and Chris McCann, Miami's second line of defense is looking more and more suspect as the team prepares for a relentless Buffalo rushing attack.

Likely in a mix to replace Ellerbe and Misi -- and potentially Wheeler depending on his game day status -- will be the reserve crew of Jonathon Freeny, Jason Trusnik, Jelani Jenkins and the recently acquired Kelvin Sheppard, who will be experiencing a homecoming of sorts after spending two years with the Bills.

Trusnik, Jenkins and Freeny each played 67, 59 and 14 of the team's 86 defensive snaps, respectively, last week against the Patriots, while Sheppard hasn't seen time since the final week of preseason games, where he played 12 snaps for Indianapolis against the Bengals before being cut.

The Bills running game tallied 193 total yards last week in its win over the Bears, with four different players seeing at least five rushing attempts and averaging nearly six yards a carry as a group.

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