Miami Dolphins: Why Does Lamar Miller Not Get Significant Carries?

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst IMarch 16, 2017

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 30:  Quarterback Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins hands off the football to running back Lamar Miller #26 during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 30, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Dolphins 24-21 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Lamar Miller has been fantastic in his limited carries this year. And that might be an understatement.

The rookie out of the University of Miami that the Dolphins drafted in the fourth round has stepped up to the plate when given playing time. In garbage time against the Oakland Raiders, Miller was allotted ten carries with which he produced 65 yards and an impressive 15-yard touchdown where he mirrored the elusiveness of Reggie Bush.

When Bush went down against the New York Jets, Miller was granted nine carries that quickly transformed into 48 yards and included a 22-yard burst of speed. He had a less solid outing against the Arizona Cardinals where he garnered just 13 yards on four carries.

But ever since then, Miller has been absent from the field. Especially when it looked like he had finally earned himself a spot in the Dolphins offense, he slowly saw his playing time vaporize.

In Week 9 against the Indianapolis Colts, Joe Philbin gave the rookie one carry, which he quickly turned into seven yards as if intending to prove himself to the organization.

The resurgence of Daniel Thomas as a more productive back yardage-wise has definitely cut into Miller's playing time. Especially considering Thomas's goal-line capabilities, Miller has seen himself relegated to more of a bench role.

But as Bush continues to struggle to regain his explosiveness, one just has to question the playing time of Miller.

Don't get me wrong, I trust Philbin more than any Dolphins coach in recent years. I mean, he turned a franchise with a rookie quarterback into a contender for a playoff spot.

But if Miller is effective, don't we want to see him on the field?