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Head Coach Adam Gase went back to a familiar face to fill the Dolphins’ need at quarterback.
With Jay Cutler sidelined by a rib injury, David Fales re-signed with the Dolphins on Tuesday. Fales, who spent training camp and the preseason with the Dolphins, first worked with Gase with the Chicago Bears in 2015.
“I’ve been around him multiple times,” Gase said. “He’s smart, his recall is really good. He’s a gamer, the kind of guy you throw in there and looks bad and he’ll figure out a way to make a play. It seems like we’ve got a couple of guys that are the same way. Sometimes at practice it might not look great, but they got out in the game, just figure out to move the ball.”
Fales posted a 97.8 passer rating during the preseason, but was among the Dolphins’ final roster cuts when they got down to the 53-player roster limit.
The Dolphins have quarterback Brandon Doughty on the practice squad, and Gase was asked Tuesday why Fales got the nod instead of Doughty. Said Gase: “We felt like it was the best decision for the organization right now.”
Maxwell move: The decision to release cornerback Byron Maxwell came down to the combination of needing to create a roster spot for Fales and the Dolphins liking their young group of cornerbacks. “I don’t think anything really went wrong,” Gase said. “We’ve just got a got of good players, a lot of guys that we like.” With Maxwell gone, the Dolphins cornerbacks now include Xavien Howard, Cordrea Tankersley, Bobby McCain, Alterraun Verner, Walt Aikens, Jordan Lucas and rookie Torry McTyer. Maxwell ended up playing 15 games (with 15 starts) for the Dolphins after coming over in a March 2016 trade with the Philadelphia Eagles and had two interceptions and five forced fumbles, including one this season in the first game against the New York Jets. “He did a good job last year,” Gase said. “He battled and played well for us at the end of the season. We’ve just got a lot of young guys.”
All-purpose player: With Anthony Steen nursing a foot injury, Jesse Davis could find himself starting at left guard against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night, which would just add to his already unique 2017 resume. Davis hasn’t started a game yet this season, but he’s lined up at left guard, right tackle and left tackle and even got a couple of snaps on the defensive line. Davis’ latest appearance on defense came against the Jets during a goal-line situation. Of course, it should be pointed out that Davis spent two seasons as a defensive lineman at the University of Idaho before he became an offensive lineman. “He’s a big dude,” defensive coordinator Matt Burke said. “He’s physical. It’s a testament to Adam. All hands on deck.”
DeVante watch: Offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen got a good laugh from the media at his weekly press conference last week when he referenced biblical figure Lazarus in reference to DeVante Parker and his ankle injury. As Gase also referenced earlier, Parker surprised everyone last season when he was able to play a game despite an injury and that game also happened to be against the team the Dolphins will be facing Thursday — the Baltimore Ravens. Parker missed the game against the Jets on Sunday and Christensen was asked Tuesday whether he had seen any Lazarus-like signs from Parker this week. “He hasn’t risen quite yet,” Christensen said, “but I’ve felt some tremors.”
Drake delivers: Running back Kenyan Drake made an impact on special teams last year with his game-winning kickoff return for a touchdown against the New York Jets. He hasn’t been able to make that kind of game-changing play in the kicking game so far this season, but still has found a way to contribute on special teams. The 2016 third-round pick from Alabama is coming off a strong effort in the kicking game, as he was credited with two tackles and one assist in the 31-28 victory against the Jets. “He really was involved a lot in this past game,” Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Darren Rizzi said. “One of the things we talked about in the beginning of the year was the thing that he had get better at was the coverage aspect. We really worked on that in the offseason. That’s something he really put a prime into, as far as punt coverage, kick coverage because that was something he had not a ton of. Here’s an offensive player that’s doing a really good job of covering kicks. He’s really grown in that role. Kenyan with the ball in his hands is a dynamic player and we all know what he can do when he has the ball in his hand, but to be able to do what he’s doing in the coverage part of it, he’s really added on to his game and that’s a huge asset for us.”