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After one week, the Miami Dolphins have some injury issues that could keep a pair of key reserves out of Sunday's home opener against the Oakland Raiders. RB Daniel Thomas and DT Tony McDaniel missed practice Wednesday, and the team is doubtful either will recover in time to play Sunday.
McDaniel exited the Houston game after he re-aggravated a knee injury originally suffered in the team's first preseason game. Like most teams, the Dolphins rotate defensive lineman throughout the game, making McDaniel more important than most reserves.
Miami re-signed free agent Ryan Baker Wednesday, making McDaniel's chances of playing against Oakland seem all the more improbable. Baker has existed on the bubble of the Dolphins' roster for the past three seasons, appearing in 16 games over that period.
"This is home," Baker told the Miami Herald Wednesday. "I work hard. They know me as a person, and as an athlete. I hope I get to go out there and do my job."
Thomas experienced concussion-like symptoms last Sunday, according to the Herald. Head coach Joe Philbin declined comment when asked by the Herald if Thomas had passed NFL-mandated neurological tests. The Herald's source says Thomas did pass the tests, but the team might keep him out of the Raiders game to be safe.
The Dolphins' backup to Reggie Bush rushed three times for 11 yards and a fumble against Houston. He also caught one pass for 31 yards.
Thomas could be replaced by rookie RB (and former UM standout) Lamar Miller. A fourth-round pick in April's draft, Miller was inactive for the Houston game. He ran for 91 yards on 30 carries with one touchdown in the preseason. "I think Lamar's ready," Bush said.
The team also announced Wednesday that WR Anthony Armstrong (hamstring), LB Jonathan Freeny (thumb), and DT Randy Starks (groin) were limited in Wednesday's practice.