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Bobby McCain has handled the nickel cornerback position all season for the Dolphins, but he got some work on the boundary as well against the Denver Broncos on Sunday after rookie Cordrea Tankersley left the game because of an ankle injury.
McCain and veteran Alterraun Verner both lined on the boundary after Tankersley left the game, and McCain ended up playing 67 of the 72 defensive snaps for the Dolphins. That represented the second-highest total on the team behind only safety T.J. McDonald, who played every snap.
McCain didn’t just play a lot of snaps, he played those snaps very well. Along with getting a sack on the next-to-last play of the game, McCain was credited with three passes defensed. On one of those, he got his hands on the ball on a pass intended for Emmanuel Sanders, and it bounced up in the air to pave the way for an easy interception by McDonald in the first quarter.
“He does a really good job out there,” Head Coach Adam Gase said of McCain. “We’ve seen him in games play nickel mostly, but he plays corner in practice quite a bit and he’s a challenge for our guys to get open.”
Injury update: Tankersley’s ankle injury was his second injury of the game after he earlier sustained a shoulder injury. Gase said Monday that Tankersley’s injury wasn’t serious. Center Mike Pouncey left the game in the second half with a hamstring injury, but Gase said he could have gone back into the game. Jake Brendel finished out the game at center in Pouncey’s place. Guard Jermon Bushrod missed a second consecutive game because of a foot injury, but Gase said he was hoping the veteran would be able to return to practice this week.
Onside observations: Gase repeated Monday his postgame explanation for attempting an onside kick after taking a 33-9 lead with 10:21 left in the fourth quarter. The kick was recovered by Dolphins cornerback Alterraun Verner at the Miami 48-yard line. The Dolphins offense went three-and-out after the recovery, but the ensuing punt was fumbled into the end zone by returner Isaiah McKenzie, leading to the second Miami safety of the game. “It’s not like we’ve been dominating and we’ve had big leads,” Gase said. “The whole point of that was to understand that we have to play 60 minutes every week. You have to play that game like it’s 0-0 for 60 minutes.”
Malveaux’s moment: Defensive end Cameron Malveaux made his NFL debut one day after being promoted from the practice squad, and he ended up getting quite a bit of playing time in his first game. Malveaux played 32 snaps in the victory against Denver, which represented 44 percent of the defensive snaps. “Just to get him up (on the active roster) was great,” Gase said. “He’s helped us get better on offense. The way he has gone about practicing on the scout team, it’s game day for him. He’s caught the eye of a lot of coaches.”
Special streaks: Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh took over as the active leader in consecutive starts among defensive tackles when he made his 95th consecutive appearance against Denver. He came into the weekend second behind Domata Peko Sr., whose 123-game streak ended — ironically, against the Dolphins — because of a knee injury. Meanwhile, John Denney tied Jason Taylor for second place on the Dolphins’ all-time games list when he played his 204th NFL game. Denney has never missed a game since making the Dolphins roster as a rookie free agent in 2005.