News and Notes

As the Dolphins continue their preparations for Sunday's game at Cleveland, we catch up on the latest developments with the team.

PLAYER NOTES:

-- RB Reggie Bush practiced in full on Wednesday after suffering a groin injury against the Texans. Bush said he hopes that both he and rookie RB Daniel Thomas can be continued to be used between the tackles.

-- LB Jason Trusnik has worked on the outside throughout his career but the Dolphins have been giving him some practice reps on the inside of their 3-4 scheme. Trusnik could provide some depth there depending on the status of Karlos Dansby.

-- WR Brian Hartline will have a homecoming of sorts this weekend. He's a native of Canton, Ohio, and played collegiately at Ohio State. Hartline has caught six passes for 83 yards in two games.

-- FS Chris Clemons is back practicing after missing all of practice last week with a hamstring injury. It's unclear if he'll resume his starting duties in the secondary but Dolphins coach Tony Sparano is hoping Clemons can at least play a significant role on special teams on Sunday.

-- TE Anthony Fasano caught five passes for 84 yards against the Patriots in Week 1 but he was held without a catch against the Texans in Week 2. Coach Tony Sparano said Fasano's production was limited because the Texans played lots of zone coverage, while the Patriots used more man.

INJURY IMPACT:

-- CB Vontae Davis (hamstring) did not participate in practice on Wednesday. If he's unable to play on Sunday, Nolan Carroll or Will Allen would likely start in his place.

-- DE Tony McDaniel (hand) didn't practice on Wednesday. He suffered his injury in Week 1 against the Patriots and didn't practice last week or play against the Texans.

-- LB Karlos Dansby was limited in practice on Wednesday but returned after suffering a groin injury against the Texans. His status for Sunday is uncertain.

-- WR Roberto Wallace (quad) practiced in limited fashion on Wednesday. He didn't practice last week and was inactive for the game against the Texans.

GAME PLAN: Let's start with defense, given that's the area that has caused the greatest alarm for the Dolphins through two weeks. Through two games the Dolphins have been one of the worst defensive teams in the NFL. But, keep in mind, they have played against the Patriots and Texans — two of the best offenses in the league. If they struggle against the Browns it will officially be time to worry.

This weekend, the Dolphins must generate pressure on QB Colt McCoy, who is more mobile than he might appear. The Browns don't have an abundance of big-play threats but WR Mohamed Massaquoi is one. He's averaging 20.3 yards per catch and he can burn the Dolphins — especially if he's not matched up against Dolphins CB Sean Smith.

Offensively, the Dolphins have done well thus far outside of their struggles in the red zone. They must capitalize on their scoring chances and can't afford to reach the Browns' 5-yard line and come away with nothing — as the Dolphins did last week against the Texans.

QB Chad Henne completed just 12 of his 30 attempts against the Texans, but his receivers need to do a better job of helping him. In the running game, the Dolphins should stick with what works — which means they should keep giving rookie RB Daniel Thomas the ball between the tackles.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH:

Dolphins cornerbacks vs. Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi: Opposing receivers — from the Texans' Andre Johnson to the Patriots Wes Welker and Deion Branch — have burned the Dolphins' corners in the early season. Massaquoi could do the same on Sunday if the Dolphins aren't careful — especially if CB Vontae Davis is limited. The Dolphins haven't had their corners shadow specific receivers thus far this season, but it'd be wise to assign Sean Smith to blanket Massaquoi.

Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas vs. Browns' defensive tackles and linebackers: Thomas and the Dolphins should have an advantage up the middle against an underwhelming group of Browns' defensive tackles and linebackers. After two games the Browns rank 24th in rushing defense and are allowing an average of 124 rushing yards per game. Thomas should be in position for another big game on Sunday.


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