Updates from Monday, Aug. 25
James Walker of ESPN reported on Charles Clay from Dolphins practice:
#Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) looks good running today. I'm not sure he plays Thursday, but he's getting in the practice work.— James Walker (@JamesWalkerNFL) August 25, 2014
Updates from Saturday, Aug. 23
Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald has the latest on Clay:
As expected, Clay and Moreno are both active.— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 23, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 21
Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post reports the latest on Clay's status:
Charles Clay says he will find out tomorrow if he's playing in Saturday preseason game— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonPBP) August 21, 2014
Updates from Sunday, Aug. 17
Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post provides a statement from Charles Clay discussing his injury status and recovery:
'I’m good,' Clay said. 'I got a chance to go out and do a little running today. I’m excited and ready to get back.'
When asked if he’ll be able to return to practice this week, Clay said 'We’ll see. I’m not sure yet.'
But then I asked him if there’s any possibility he will miss the season opener?
'No,' he said. 'Not at all.'
Miami Dolphins tight end Charles Clay is coming off a breakout season, but he has been unable to build upon that in training camp due to injury.
According to Andrew Abramson of The Palm Beach Post, Clay originally suffered a knee injury during practice Aug. 2. Clay is still nursing that ailment nearly two weeks later and did not participate during Thursday's session:
Charles Clay still in shorts looks like he won't be practicing again with knee injury.— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonPBP) August 14, 2014
This injury also kept Clay out of the Dolphins' preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons Aug. 8, according to Kelly:
Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace won't be playing in the exhibition opener. And Charles Clay also won't be going. Vets with injuries resting.— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) August 8, 2014
Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post talked to head coach Joe Philbin about Clay's status:
Coach Joe Philbin today said he didn’t know if Clay would be ready for the start of the regular season. He said he’s “day to day” at this point.
The positive, Philbin said, is that 75 percent of the offense was already installed when Clay went down. But he said it’s obviously a setback to miss a big chunk of training camp and the preseason.
With Clay on the shelf, the expectation is that Dion Sims will step in and receive the bulk of the first-team work. Per Christopher L. Shelton of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Sims is ready to step in and contribute: "(Quarterback Ryan Tannehill) being able to trust me—that's the main thing. (I'm) just trying to build my foundation now and do whatever I can to help this team win and just make plays when my number is called."
Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin has yet to reveal how long he expects Clay to be out of action, but Kelly believes that missing the entire preseason slate is a distinct possibility:
The way Charles Clay is limping around in his brace I highly doubt he'll be playing in the exhibition season. Dion Sims needs to get ready.— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) August 11, 2014
That wouldn't be an ideal timetable since it is good for players to get in some game situations prior to the regular season, but the main focus from Miami's perspective must be on keeping Clay healthy.
Will Charles Clay improve upon his breakout 2013 performance in 2014?
The fourth-year man out of Tulsa became one of Tannehill's go-to options last season as he caught 69 passes for 759 yards and six touchdowns. That was no small feat considering the fact that he was battling wide receivers Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline for targets.
Clay is a true X-factor in the Miami offense, and he is a player who must be healthy and productive in 2014 if the Dolphins are going to make noise in the AFC East and vie for a playoff spot.
Knee injuries can be extremely difficult for pass-catchers to navigate due to the nature of their movements. All the Dolphins can do at this point, though, is rest Clay and hope that is enough to get him close to 100 percent when the games start to count.
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