Miami Dolphins linebacker Shaq Lawson, who has been a helpful piece in the team’s improved defense this season, did not accompany team to Las Vegas on Friday evening and was ruled out for Saturday’s against the Raiders.
Lawson was limited in practice all week with a shoulder issue. The team did not indicate when Lawson sustained the injury; he played 30 of 55 defensive snaps against New England last Sunday.
Lawson started Miami’s first four games but has started only three games since then but has continued to receive significant playing time. He has 32 tackles, four sacks and 18 quarterback hits.
His absence could mean increased snaps for Andrew Van Ginkel and Elandon Roberts.
Meanwhile, the chances of receivers DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant – and tight end Mike Gesicki – playing against the Raiders increased on Friday because all three accompanied the team to Las Vegas and because the team did not use the NFL’s practice squad “elevation” mechanism, or openings on the 53-man roster, to add a tight end or receiver to the roster.
Brian Flores said all three of those players were close to playing last Sunday but none did because of injuries. All are listed as questionable for the Raiders game.
Instead of adding Chris Myarick to the 53-man roster, Miami opted to keep three tight ends on the 53: Gesicki, Durham Smythe and Adam Shaheen. Gesicki missed last Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury and was limited all week.
The Dolphins have only four completely healthy receivers available Sunday: Lynn Bowden Jr., Mack Hollins, Malcolm Perry and Isaiah Ford, who was “elevated” from the practice squad earlier this week.
Because Miami did not elevate another receiver from the practice squad, that could signal the return of Parker and/or Grant for the Raiders game. Both players have been dealing with hamstring injuries.
Guard Ereck Flowers, who has been dealing with an ankle injury, also accompanied the team to Las Vegas. He’s listed as questionable for Saturday’s game.
Guard Solomon Kindley previously was ruled out for Saturday because of a knee injury.
Running back Myles Gaskin, who came off the COVID-19 list last week, also traveled with the team and is available for play on Saturday. For the first time in December, Miami will have all five of its running backs available for this weekend’s game.
Receiver Preston Williams and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux remain on injured reserve and haven’t practiced with the team in many weeks.
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