The Miami Dolphins head to the west coast for Week 15 to take on the San Diego Chargers in the Dolphins’ final road game of the season. It’s crazy to say that; it feels like just yesterday this 2015-16 season started, and here we are now, in Week 15.
With Miami being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs after losing last week to the New York Giants, the Dolphins are going to hit the field hard playing for pride, future jobs, and as head coach Dan Campbell puts it, “…(playing) for love of the game.”
After what seems like weeks and weeks of the injury bug, and don’t get me wrong the Dolphins are still very banged up, the tides might be slowly shifting as the Dolphins are set to possibly have one, if not two, offensive starters back in their line up on Sunday. Ja’Wuan James, who has missed the last six weeks, finally returned to practice albeit on a limited basis. He’ll have to show the coaches that his toe has fully healed and that he’s 100% confident with it in order to suit up Sunday. It’s no surprise though that his return would automatically bolster the Dolphins struggling offensive line, which would only benefit Lamar Miller and the passing game as well.
Speaking of which, also returning to practice this week was Rishard Matthews, who cracked a few ribs back in Week 12 against the New York Jets. Going into that game, Matthews was the Dolphins leading receiver with 662 yards and four touchdowns. Since his absence however, they have struggled through the air. The Dolphins are definitely happy to have him back at practice, and are hopeful he’ll be able to suit up against the Chargers.
On the other side of the ball, the Chargers (who have lost 9 of their last 10 games) are also very banged up. This might actually be the first week in a long time that the Dolphins have fewer names on the Injury Report than their opposition. With Keenan Allen out for the year, Stevie Johnson set to miss his second straight game, and Ladarius Green not having practiced all week, Philip Rivers will look to Malcom Floyd, Dontrelle Inman, and Antonio Gates to lead their passing attack against a very vulnerable Dolphins secondary.
Although both the Dolphins and the Chargers had high aspirations heading into the 2015-16 NFL season, in what literally feels like a snap of a finger, both teams have fallen way short of their targets; while not the only reason, injuries have had a major role in their respective downfalls.
Rounding out the Injury Report for both teams:
T Ja’Wuan James (Toe) LP – Questionable
LB Jelani Jenkins (Ankle) DNP – Questionable
WR Jarvis Landry (Knee) LP – Questionable
WR Rishard Matthews (Ribs) LP – Questionable
CB Bobby McCain (Concussion) LP – Questionable
RB Lamar Miller (Ankle) LP – Questionable
G Billy Turner (Calf) LP – Questionable
RB Damien Williams (Back) LP – Questionable
DT Earl Mitchell (Calf) DNP – Doubtful
San Diego Chargers
OG D.J. Fluker (Concussion) FP – Probable
OT Chris Hairston (Abdomen) FP – Probable
WR Dontrelle Inman (Neck) FP – Probable
T King Dunlap (Ankle) DNP – Questionable
OG Orlando Franklin (Illness) DNP – Questionable
TE Ladarius Green (Ankle) DNP – Questionable
WR Javontee Herndon (Shoulder) LP – Questionable
WR Stevie Johnson (Groin) DNP – Questionable
NT Sean Lissemore (Shoulder) LP – Questionable
CB Steve Williams (Hip) LP – Questionable