AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Dolphins

One of the very few bright spots for the Miami Dolphins this season has been the play of RB Mark Walton, who has pulled his career back from the brink following a series of arrests this offseason that led to his release less than a year after being drafted by the Bengals in the fourth round. After getting a second chance in his hometown of Miami, Walton fought his way from the bottom of the Dolphins depth chart to perhaps the top with a strong performance on Sunday against the Bills. 

“I think it’s clear to anyone who watches that if you’re a Dolphins fan, you want to see Mark Walton get the football a little bit more,” Dolphins HC Brian Flores said via the Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley. “I like all of our backs. Drake has gone in there and made plays, Ballage has gone in there and made plays. But Mark has definitely been playing well the last couple of weeks.”

Jets

  • Connor Rogers hears that Jets WR Robby Anderson is drawing trade interest around the NFL. Anderson’s name came up last year and leading up to the draft, but Rogers says the Jets’ old regime elected to hold on to him.
  • According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Jets QB Sam Darnold had a toenail removed, but should be fine going forward. 
  • The Jets will continue to monitor LB C.J. Mosley, who exited his first game back after a groin injury with more soreness. (Mehta)
  • Jets C Ryan Kalil is day-to-day with an elbow and shoulder injury, while the team is hopeful TE Chris Herndon (hamstring) will return to practice this week.
  • Jets waived DB Mark Myers from injured reserve. 

Patriots

The Patriots have lost two fullbacks to season-ending injuries so far this year. Though the fullback is an endangered species in the modern NFL, New England still uses the position prominently. On Monday night, the Patriots got creative to fill the position, using LB Elandon Roberts as a fullback for a few goal-line plays. Patriots OC Josh McDaniels said Roberts did “a decent job.”

“[W]e’ve practiced against Elandon for a number of years,” McDaniels said via Pro Football Talk. James Develin and he have had some legendary battles in nine-on-seven in training camp and those kind of things. [Roberts] is obviously one of the toughest guys we’ve got. He’s kind of built low to the ground. He’s kind of got that natural leverage that you need, either as a guy that takes on blocks or a guy that makes blocks.”

Roberts’ stint as a fullback is the latest in a long line of Patriots players playing two ways. Patriots WR Julian Edelman played nickel cornerback at one point earlier in his career, with other notable players including former LB Mike Vrabel catching touchdowns at tight end and former WR Troy Brown playing corner. 

“We’ve obviously done this before,” McDaniels said. “We’ve had some experience with defensive players playing somewhat of a role on offense, whether it be tight end, fullback, etc., going back to [Mike] Vrabel and [Richard] Seymour and [Junior] Seau and Dan Klecko and guys like that. So we just worked him in there in some of those roles. Multiple guys are ready to go in some of those things.”

  • ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports that while a second-round pick was a steep price for WR Mohamed Sanu, the Patriots highly valued his ability to play inside as a slot receiver and not limit their personnel groupings. 
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