Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons Preseason Week 3 Preview: Rise to the Occasion

Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons

(Miami, FL) — When it comes to the action and scores of the NFL preseason, many football fans are quick to denounce its importance. However, these games are vital to players who are fighting to move up on their team’s depth chart or even keep a roster spot.

As the Miami Dolphins (0-2) host the Atlanta Falcons (1-1) on Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium, many players from both squads will be auditioning for NFL scouts of all 32 teams.

Despite a 31-30 loss to the Carolina Panthers last Saturday, Ryan Tannehill and the Miami starting offense looked very good in limited first-half action. The fourth-year quarterback, who is expected to have a massive season following his $96 million contract extension, completed 12 of 15 passes for 102 yards and one touchdown pass.

Typically during Week 3 of the preseason, teams will usually play their starters for most or all of the first half, so backups and rookies on both teams will need to step up when called upon. With Dolphins free safety Louis Delmas out for the season with a torn ACL and cornerback Jamar Taylor dealing with a hamstring issue, Miami’s secondary is definitely questionable outside of Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes and starting strong safety Reshad Jones.

On Saturday, the Dolphins’ secondary will get a big test from the Falcons’ aerial attack consisting of quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones, who were both Pro Bowlers last season. Atlanta wideout Roddy White, who had 80 catches for 921 yards and seven touchdowns in 2014, underwent right elbow surgery on Monday and is not expected to play until at least Week 1 of the regular season.

“I think it was in and out, just a scope,” Jones said about White. “I think he’s going to recover. He’s going to do great. It was just some freak thing that occurred to him. I’m not a doctor, so I really don’t know all what’s going on with him. But when it’s the first (surgery) for anyone, somebody’s going to be uncomfortable. I think he’s going to pull through. I think Roddy will be Roddy in Week 1.”

For the Falcons, also ruled out for Saturday’s game are cornerback Desmond Trufant, strong safety William Moore and running back Antone Smith.

When it comes to wide receivers, the Dolphins are continuing to have an injury issue of their own. Although Jarvis Landry, Greg Jennings and Kenny Stills are currently slated as the team’s top three wideouts, rookie receiver DeVante Parker continues to sit out of practice following foot surgery. However, the 14th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft might return to practice next week on a limited basis.

“Well, hopefully. It’s a day-to-day process and all of the reports are positive that, like you said, he’s feeling well and things are moving in the right direction and so we’ll take it a day a time,” Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said about Parker. “Obviously, we would love to see him get out here as quickly as we can. He’s just starting the running phase. I think every day we’ll learn a little bit more.”

The contest, which is scheduled to kick off shortly after 7:00 pm ET, will be broadcast live locally on CBS4 Miami.