A Dolphin left tackle update, an introspective Claypool and a Waddle target misconception

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A six-pack of Dolphins notes on a Wednesday:

▪ Left tackle and - to an extent - safety are the biggest Dolphins concerns entering Sunday’s game at Washington.

Four players missed Wednesday’s practice: left tackle Kendall Lamm, receiver Tyreek Hill, running back Raheem Mostert and safety Jevon Holland.

Twelve others were limited, including left tackle Terron Armstead, whose status for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game is very much in question because of a quadriceps injury sustained in the Jets game.

In a social media post on Tuesday, Armstead said, among other things, that “I will put the work in and be better out there for my team this weekend!” But Mike McDaniel has called Armstead’s status “week to week.”

Lamm is dealing with a back injury; McDaniel said Monday that he’s optimistic Lamm will be available on Sunday, but the fact he couldn’t practice at all Wednesday was notable.

If neither Armstead nor Lamm can play, then No. 4 tackle Kion Smith would be in line to start at left tackle at Washington.

Smith, who won a job in training camp, said he pressured washed homes in 2020 in Lumberton, N.C., when COVID canceled Fayetteville State’s football season.

“It feels good to be out there and finally be in the mix with everybody to make plays on Sunday,” Smith said Wednesday. “I knew I would be an NFL player, but I didn’t know exactly how it would happen.”

As for Tyreek Hill, he is dealing with an ankle injury but was moving around well before practice and seems to play through most any injury.

Holland sustained a knee injury against the Jets but said afterward that he’s fine. He missed Wednesday’s practice with injuries to both knees. He was ambulatory in the locker room.

Mostert often misses Wednesday practice; he was listed with ankle and knee issues, as has often been the case this season.

Besides Armstead, the other 11 Dolphins who were limited: running back De’Von Achane (knee), tight end Durham Smythe (ankle), running back Chris Brooks (ankle/Wednesday was his first practice since going on injured reserve after the Oct. 15 Carolina game), linebacker Bradley Chubb (knee), safety Elijah Campbell (shoulder), guard Robert Hunt (hamstring), fullback Alec Ingold (ankle), guard Robert Jones (knee), center Connor Williams (illness), long snapper Blake Ferguson (ankle) and receiver Chase Claypool (knee).

▪ Claypool said the knee procedure that sidelined him the past two games was the result of an issue that lingered from his time with Chicago earlier this season. He had the “super minor” surgery during the bye week.

“It was something that I asked a few times prior to coming here about it,” Claypool said. “They said everything was good, not to worry about it. When I got here and did my physical, they recommended that we [clean] it. It was like a maintenance thing. It was a little frustrating that I had an opportunity to do it earlier but I was steered the other direction” with the Bears.

“I was happy I was able to get it done now. I’m fully healthy, good to go. It was something I’ve been trying to play through for a while. Happy I was able to get some sound advice.”

Claypool has played only 29 offensive snaps (in three games) since his Oct. 6 acquisition from Chicago and has one reception for 15 yards. But he has handled his situation like a pro.

Is not playing a lot difficult to reconcile with free agency three months away?

“Not really,” he said. “At the beginning of the year, it was definitely like, I might have thought more, ‘Damn, I’ve got to make sure I get my numbers,’ or not even so that, but thinking about a contract year.

“Since I’ve come here, it hasn’t been about that. It hasn’t been about myself. Very aware we have guys in the room that are going to do everything they can. They are going to put up big numbers. That gets me excited because we’re winning games. If there’s anything I can do to help in that process, that’s super exciting to me.

“I don’t really care about the numbers. This isn’t the year for that. If I can go make a big play blocking, doing something, even if I’m not out there, if I can assist in any way to help the team. We want to win the whole thing. Any little thing I can do to help us get there is great, even it’s scout team, special teams.”

McDaniel praised Claypool on Wednesday: “I thought he would be a valuable asset to this football team. Nothing has changed with that. He has gone above and beyond to assimilate. There will be roles for him throughout the season.”

▪ We’ll have a full story on Jason Pierre-Paul’s addition on Miamiherald.com this week. Couple of notes:

1). Though he has played a lot of defensive end, he will be an outside linebacker in Miami’s 3-4 defense and has experience playing that defense and said it won’t be a difficult transition.

“It will be easy for him,” Dolphins linebacker Bradley Chubb said. “On our nickel packages, we play with a reckless abandon on the edge. We have a chance to play fast, play free and that fits his skill set perfectly. I think it will be easy for him to transition over.”

2). After the Dolphins began the process of poaching him from New Orleans’ practice squad, the Saints showed interest in moving him to the 53-man roster.

But Pierre-Paul wasn’t required to stay in New Orleans at that point, and he liked the idea of coming back to his home region and playing for a Super Bowl contender. Pierre-Paul was born in Deerfield Beach.

What stands out about him is “how relentless he is, getting after the quarterback, stopping the run,” Chubb said. “He has a very large frame. It’s cool to see how he manipulates his body. When he rushes on the edge, it’s taking those steps side to side to get the tackles’ eyes shifting.”

▪ Though it might have seemed (before the Jets games) that Jaylen Waddle is being targeted less this season, that’s not the case.

He’s on track for 120 targets in 16 games, compared with 117 in 17 last season.

He’s on pace for 83 receptions in 16 games, compared with 75 in 17 last season.

He had 104 catches and 140 targets as a rookie, the year before Tyreek Hill arrived.

What has changed from last season is his yards per catch average, from a league-leading 18.1 average last season to 13.3, which ranks 34th.

Asked if he enjoys the game more when he gets more targets, Waddle said:

“Winning is always the main goal. So whether I get three, 10, 7, 8, as long as we win, I feel that’s the main goal. We have a lot of guys that make plays and [coaches have] got to give them the ball. You might get three, you might get five, six, seven, eight depending on the week.”

Has McDaniel ever told him this season that he wishes he would have gotten him the ball more?

“Sometimes,” Waddle said. “Mike does a good job of feeding the hot hand.”

Waddle had a season-high eight catches (on eight targets) for 114 yards against the Jets.

“Sometimes he does have big games, but it is sort of minimized because of the production that Tyreek gives our offense,” Tua Tagovailoa said Wednesday. “But I think highly of Jaylen and he’s going to continue to do things that we need for him to do to help us win games down the stretch. This past game, we saw that.

“I really say this as a testament to him obviously being the competitor that he is – he doesn’t really come up to me and tells me like, ‘Dude, throw me the ball.’

And Tagovailoa added: “Go watch what kind of player he is in the blocking game. Go watch what kind of player he is. Very physical.

▪ Quick stuff: Chubb, on his interaction with his friend and teammate Jaelan Phillips since his season-ending Achilles injury and surgery: “I try to uplift him every chance I get. We talk all the time. That’s my boy anyway. It’s more of a conversational thing more than a somber thing. Not when it first happened, but a couple days later, he was like, ‘Man, I’m going to be good. I just need y’all to be there for me.’ So it’s not more of a ‘Hey man, you’re going to be ok.’ It’s more of a regular conversation and try to make him feel as regular as possible because that rehab process is a tough one to go through. And if things feel out of whack, you can kind of get down on yourself and stuff like that. So that’s my job and all of our jobs is to keep him uplifted.”...

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▪ Tagovailoa got stitches on the gash on his right non-throwing arm sustained in the Jets game.

He said his wife “didn’t see it but then she got text messages from people about what it looked like and they said it was disgusting while they were eating their leftover meals...

“I didn’t know it happened until I came to the sideline and then Mike White sort of pointed it out. I guess it was just from the adrenaline. It was a nice chunk that came off. If someone can find that piece, that’s yours. It looks really good” after stitches.