Ricky could start while Chatman worse, Zach out
Starting running back.
Williams took a majority of the first-team snaps in practice Friday while second-year running back Patrick Cobbs took the repetitions Williams did not. Regular starter Jesse Chatman was extremely limited in practice with an ankle injury.
Although Chatman is listed as questionable and coach Cam Cameron continues to talk as if the player will be pretty close to healthy by Monday, in this reporter's opinion, Chatman seemed slower Friday and the limp was more pronounced than it was two days ago when I last saw him during the early portion of practice.
"We can't get ahead of ourselves in this situation," Cameron said, playing this hand close to his vest. "We'll see where Jesse is. Jesse is an extremely tough guy. He's a competitor. He'll do everything he can to be full speed by Monday night.''
That, of course, does not mean he'll even play. If the game was Saturday, he probably would not play.
And as I explained to you in an earlier post and is evident from the practices, the more significant the injury to Chatman, the greater the likelihood Ricky Williams will be activated for Monday night's game against Pittsburgh.
I simply do not fathom the team going into a game against the NFL's top-rated defense with a limping Chatman and inexperienced Patrick Cobbs. Nope. Ricky is pretty certain to be activated if the current course continues. And, again, he would be the starter if the game were today.
One reason the Dolphins can do that is because Williams continues to show fresh legs during the portion of practice the media is allowed to watch. Cameron is simply calling Ricky's practices, "solid." But, in fact, Williams has shown a burst not expected of a player away from the game since 2005.
The team continues to consider the danger of pushing Williams too hard, too quickly. That can lead to a strained or pulled muscle or more serious injury. But Miami's need is serious, and as one poster contributed, Ricky may be less likely to hurt himself because his practice of yoga may shield him somewhat from that danger.
On another matter, you can officially scratch linebacker Zach Thomas from Monday night's game. Thomas, who has missed five games already, is missing his third day of practice this week and did not enjoy a miraculous recovery from his post-traumatic headaches -- at least not this week.
Defensive end Matt Roth, who is doubtful with a groin injury, also will not play although the Dolphins are not confirming this.