Falcons in-house media reporting among players not in uniform tonight (@ScottBairNFL):— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) August 21, 2021
After a week of spirited joint practices—but no fights—the Miami Dolphins will play host to the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday night in the second week of the NFL preseason. Just how many starters will actually play, and whether or not they see much quality playing time, remains to be seen. Miami’s dealing with a rash of receiver injuries, but the Dolphins gave the rest of their starters work last week. Atlanta sat almost all of the starters in the first preseason game, so it’s questionable how much we’ll see from that group this week.
Atlanta’s starter, Matt Ryan, sat out the preseason opener, and it still wasn’t clear as of mid-week whether or not he’ll play against the Dolphins. If he does, don’t expect more than a series or two. AJ McCarron will play, and after a rough outing last week, he’ll be feeling some heat to improve, or the Falcons may be forced to find another backup.
Dolphins starter Tua Tagovailoa was having a solid outing last week before throwing a pick. He’s expected to get some more work in this week.
Malcolm Brown appears to have slipped into the lead back role for the Dolphins. Myles Gaskin played behind him in last week’s game. The position battle isn’t settled, however, so they’ll be looking to make every snap count against Atlanta.
Mike Davis is healthy and was practicing this week, but the Falcons will likely let the rest of the depth chart get most snaps as they continue to sort out the picture behind Davis.
Will Fuller, who signed with Miami in the offseason, is still dealing with an injury that’s kept him out of training camp so far. DeVanta Parker and Albert Wilson missed last week’s game and were not on the field for practice this week either, dealing with undisclosed injuries. Rookie Jaylen Waddle should get plenty of work.
If they play, don’t expect to see many snaps from Falcons receivers Calvin Ridley or Russell Gage.
Atlanta’s rookie tight end Kyle Pitts dressed but didn’t play last week. He was on the field for practice this week, so he could finally make his in-game debut. Hayden Hurst didn’t play last week either, but he was practicing this week just fine.
Mike Gesicki is healthy and coming off a preseason game with a scaled back workload. We’ll see if the Dolphins further limit his snaps with more receivers likely to play in this one.