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Dolphins vs. Panthers: Five things to watch

Right tackle Ja’Wuan James has been placed on season-ending injured reserve due to a hamstring injury, while special teams ace Michael Thomas was limited during practice on Saturday with a knee injury.
Their special teams must also continue to perform at a high level if Michael Thomas is unable to play.
Communication with new O-linemen The Dolphins must win the time of possession battle against the Carolina Panthers, but in order to accomplish such a feat, they’ll need their offensive line to generate a surge at the point of attack.
With the injury to Ja’Wuan James, they’ll utilize Jesse Davis at right tackle.
They’ll also be breaking Ted Larsen into the lineup for the first time this season at left guard.
Look for Gray to be more involved in the Dolphins’ game plan particularly in the backfield.
Taking shots with Julius Thomas With the versatility of running backs Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams, teams are no longer loading the box to stop the Dolphins’ run game.
Seam throws are open often times when two safeties are deep, and that trend will likely continue against the Carolina Panthers.
Base or nickel Christian McCaffrey’s rushing numbers might not be reflective of a running back who is helping his team, but his versatility has been a major plus for the Panthers’ offense.
Mush rush The Dolphins would like nothing more than to pin their ears back and rush the passer, but Cam Newton has the ability to avoid pass rushers and extend drives with his legs.

The Miami Dolphins are dealing with more injuries following their 27-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night. Right tackle Ja’Wuan James has been placed on season-ending injured reserve due to a hamstring injury, while special teams ace Michael Thomas was limited during practice on Saturday with a knee injury.

The Dolphins must reshuffle the deck along the offensive line and maintain effectiveness with new pieces at left guard and right tackle. Their special teams must also continue to perform at a high level if Michael Thomas is unable to play. Thomas’ availability or lack there of on Monday night becomes that much more important to the Dolphins’ special teams unit that is seeing fewer snaps from running backs Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams.

The Dolphins (4-4) must come away with a win against the Carolina Panthers if they hope to make the playoffs for their second consecutive season; but they have a daunting task in front of them. They must move the chains consistently on offense and keep Cam Newton contained on defense.

1.) Communication with new O-linemen

The Dolphins must win the time of possession battle against the Carolina Panthers, but in order to accomplish such a feat, they’ll need their offensive line to generate a surge at the point of attack. With the injury to Ja’Wuan James, they’ll utilize Jesse Davis at right tackle. They’ll also be breaking Ted Larsen into the lineup for the first time this season at left guard. Larsen missed the first eight games of the season with a torn biceps when he was placed on injured reserved with designation to return. The Dolphins communication with their new offensive linemen will be critical to their success in a hostile environment at Bank of…

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