AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Dolphins

Dolphins HC Brian Flores said there is “no quarterback controversy” following veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick leaving camp due to the passing of his mother. 

“He’s not retiring. He’s not opting out. There’s no quarterback controversy,” said Flores, via Josh Tolentino

  • Flores added that nothing is finalized regarding the Dolphins’ starting quarterback role and declined to name Tua Tagovailoa or Josh Rosen their official backup. (Tolentino)
  • Flores said they have “contingency plans” if Fitzpatrick’s absence continues into the regular season. He declined to put a timeframe on Fitzpatrick’s return. (Cameron Wolfe)
  • As for the Dolphins trading LB Raekwon McMillan to the Raiders, Flores called him a “talented player” but cited their depth at his position as a reason for exchanging him. (Barry Jackson)

Jets

Jets HC Adam Gase admitted he was “caught off guard” by RB Le’Veon Bell series of Tweets earlier in the week.

“I was caught off guard a little bit, but we had a good talk,” Gase said Saturday, via ESPN.com. “I told him I felt like our relationship was way better than him going on social media … him being able to just come talk to me.”

According to Gase, he spoke with Bell for “a long time” after Wednesday’s dispute.

“We talked about a lot of stuff,” Gase said. “We talked about some things that maybe we can do a little different. He understood how I was going to do some things in practice. He’s a veteran player that’s been around for a while.

“When I explained some things to him, he understood what I’ve been trying to do in practice. He knows we’ve been trying to thread the needle on quite a few things with reps, making sure we’re doing a good job of getting guys in the right shape heading into Week 1.

“This is unfamiliar territory for all of us,” Gase added, alluding to how the pandemic has impacted the ramp-up to the regular season. “We’re just trying to find the best way to get ourselves ready for the first game.”

  • According to Rich Cimini, Jets WR Jeff Smith‘s X-rays came back negative on his shoulder and is expected to be “day-to-day” for the time being. Cimini adds that Smith is still scheduled for an MRI on his shoulder. 

Patriots

Patriots’ RB Sony Michel is still trying to work his way back from injury as the regular season rapidly approaches.

“I felt good,” Michel said, via Zack Cox of NESN.com. “There is a theory that me missing as many practices as I did, I’m supposed to have fresh legs. But I’ve been working my way up to that point. But I felt good just being out there. One thing about being in this profession, it’s all about being patient, controlling what you can control, and just working your way up to a point that you feel like you’re ready to go. You can’t ever take a shortcut. You can’t ever cut the process short. You have to deal with it. And as long as you just grind through the process and work hard, everything will be fine.”

Michel also mentioned how RB Damien Harris getting first-team reps is motivating him in his return.

“(Harris) goes out there and he just runs hard, and it’s going to push me to run even harder,” Michel said. “Him going out there and making plays would benefit the team, and (I want to do) whatever I can do to come in and do the same thing.”

  • Patriots’ DB Joejuan Williams has been meeting and working with the safeties group regularly, with the thought that his length could be beneficial against tight ends. (Michael Giardi)
  • Patriots’ WR N’Keal Harry on missing out on reps earlier in training camp: “It was definitely tough just because we only have, what, 2 weeks now until the first game. That’s something that you never want to happen. But life throws things at you so you gotta adjust.” (Giardi)
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