Miller could make Dolphins debut Sunday

BY foxsports • September 14, 2012

DAVIE, Fla. — There’s a guy on the Dolphins who's had more than three times as many 100-yard rushing games at Sun Life Stadium than Reggie Bush. And it looks as if he’ll be playing Sunday.
 
That would be rookie Lamar Miller, who had seven 100-yard games the previous two seasons at the University of Miami. Bush, a 1,000-yard back in his inaugural 2011 season with the Dolphins, has had two 100-yard games at Sun Life.
 
Bush will get the start at running back in Sunday’s home game against Oakland. The guy in line to be his backup is Miller, the fourth-round pick who was inactive for last Sunday’s season opener at Houston.
 
Daniel Thomas was Bush’s backup, but he was ruled out Friday for Sunday’s game due to a concussion suffered in the 30-10 loss to the Texans. Listed third on the depth chart is Miller.
 
“It’d be a blessing, a dream come true,’’ said Miller, a Miami native, of the possibility of making his NFL debut against the Raiders. “I dreamed of playing in the NFL on Sundays …. And just playing (the debut) at Sun Life Stadium, I’ve been playing there for three years (including his Miami redshirt season of 2009). Just having your family and your friends coming to watch you play would be a blessing.’’
 
Miller spoke early Friday afternoon at Miami’s practice complex before the injury report came out later in the afternoon. But it had been assumed that Thomas, who didn’t practice all week, wouldn’t play.
 
Speaking before the report came out, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin was coy on what direction he might go without Thomas. Another possibility would be using Marcus Thigpen, listed as fourth on the depth chart, for carries.

Thigpen handles punt and kickoff returns, and scored Miami’s only touchdown against the Texans on a 72-yard punt return. He wouldn’t have a problem with whichever back gets the call behind Bush.
 
“I have been getting some reps (in practice), but we still got Lamar back there,’’ Thigpen said. “He’s excited (about possibly making his debut at Sun Life). We’ve talked about how excited he is.’’
 
Miller had two 100-yard games for the Hurricanes, both at Sun Life, during a 646-yard rushing season as a redshirt freshman in 2010. He had five of his seven 100-yard rushing games last season at Sun Life during a 1,272-yard campaign.
 
“If my opportunity comes, I’m going to take advantage of it,’’ said Miller, who carried 30 times for 91 yards and caught seven passes for 56 yards in the preseason. “I’m preparing every week just in case my number gets called.’’
 
This could be the week No. 44 gets the nod.
 
“I like him,’’ Philbin said of Miller. “I think he’s got an excellent future in this league. He’s progressing nicely.’’
 
Nicely enough that Philbin is ready to give him some carries? Find out Sunday.
 
Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson


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