This is a Miami team that took five tailbacks into the regular season because no one stepped forward in the preseason. Former Pro Bowler Arian Foster won the job in training camp but continued his string of injuries in Week 2 when he hurt his groin and hamstring.
The team went by committee with Ajayi, rookie Kenyan Drake, Damien Williams and Isaiah Pead, who was later released, for several games hoping someone would take hold of the position. No one did until Sunday.
How quickly things can change in the NFL and in the fantasy football world. The story said Ajayi's play could be a game-changer for the Miami offense after just recently in the doghouse. Ajayi showed the burst, power and ability to make long runs that made him a coveted prospect out of Boise State two years ago. Ajayi fell to the Dolphins in the fifth round because of prior knee injuries, but the team believed then that it got a steal as long as Ajayi stayed healthy.
Head Coach Adam Gase said Friday he was leaning toward streamlining the running back rotation after using four players in each of the past two games.
Jay Ajayi certainly made his case the past two weeks that he should continue getting opportunities.
“I was just trying to do my job when the ball was called for me to make the play,” Ajayi said. “I just tried to do my job and basically just do what I could for the team.”
Ajayi’s six carries against Cincinnati were almost as many as the other three running backs combined — Isaiah Pead (3), Damien Williams (2) and Kenyan Drake (2). Ajayi also had 14 snaps, the most among the running backs. The story said no matter who the back is, they would likely just like to get more carries to get into the flow of the game. While Ajayi's number weren't great for fantasy owners, it appears his workload could be on the rise.
Dolphins running back Arian Foster missed Sunday's game with a groin injury. Gase said he might not play Thursday. Not shocking. He came to the Dolphins with an injury history that notably included soft tissue injuries.
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Backup running back Isaiah Pead is leading Miami in rushing by a significant margin. He has 98 rushing yards on 14 carries through two preseason games and is averaging 7.0 yards per carry, highlighted by an impressive 45-yard scamper against Dallas.
Pead is not competing for a starting job, but he is making a strong push for a roster spot. The Dolphins may keep four running backs -- and Ajayi, Foster and rookie Kenyan Drake (who is injured) are the only locks. That leaves Pead in a potential battle with Damien Williams and Daniel Thomas for one roster spot.
Coach Adam Gase said Thursday that second-year tailback Jay Ajayi is the clubhouse leader when it comes to the vacant starting spot.
Speaking on WQAM (560-AM), Gase said Ajayi -- a former Boise State standout whom the Dolphins selected in the fifth-round of the 2015 NFL draft -- has put some distance between himself and Damien Williams, Daniel Thomas, Isaiah Pead, Jahwan Edwards, and Kenyan Drake, the 2016 third-round pick, who hasn't practiced with the team yet.
"He's been one of those guys he's been here every day. He's done everything right. You can tell he's looking to improve. He doesn't say much, just keeps working," Gase said. "The rest of that group has done a good job to try and keep up with him, but obviously he's kind of separated himself from that group as far as the consistency of what he does day in and day out."
The team tried but failed to sign C.J. Anderson this offseason, so they aren’t completely sold on Ajayi. Howver, these comments suggest that he’ll be the primary running back in Miami provided the team doesn’t sign Arian Foster once his Achilles is healthy. In an article examining Gase's impact on the Miami offense, our very own T.J. Hernandez concluded that "the most likely outcome seems to be that Ajayi flirts with a 60 percent backfield touch share, which would have ranked in the top 10 of all backs in 2015."
The broken ankle, along with ligament damage, will sideline Thomas Rawls for the remainder of the season, coach Pete Carroll said. On Sunday, the Seahawks went with DuJuan Harris (18 carries, 42 yards) and Fred Jackson (seven carries, 15 yards). But now they'll have to consider adding a running back to the mix as they try to make a run in the NFC.
The hope is Marshawn Lynch is back for the playoffs but there's no set timetable and they won't rush him back, the story added. The team worked out Hunter, Gray and Pead at various times this season and of course Michael is a former Seahawk (the story considers him a longshot). Brown has been on the off the roster this year. He has skills but fumbling issues. The story pointed out the team liked Harris above all of these guys since he was still on the roster. And, the author guessed the Seahawks will sign either one of the players listed above or someone off another team's practice squad and go with a running-back-by-committee approach for the next couple of weeks. Considering how Russell Wilson is playing and the fact the next two opponents (Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams) are a combined 8-18, the Seahawks should be able to hold on to a wild card spot even if their run game takes a hit. It appears to be good news for the Seattle passing game.
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Toussaint has spent the entire 2015 season on the Steelers’ practice squad after being signed on Sept. 7. He originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Michigan on May 29, 2014.
With Michigan, Toussaint had 510 career carries for 2,290 yards (4.5 average) and 28 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 31 passes for 298 yards (9.6 average) with the Wolverines.
Toussaint played in four career games during the regular season and two postseason contests, all with the Ravens. He had six carries for 12 yards, and three catches for 27 more.
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Todman has 2 carries for 14 yards this season. Pead was signed last week when the team placed Bell on injured reserve. Hopefully a little extra rest will do Williams well for the rest of the week leading up to a nice matchup against the Browns. With Ben Roethlisberger likely out, the Steelers were expected to count on the run game this week.
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