Dolphins vs. Jets: Will Miami Lean on Daniel Thomas or Lex Hilliard at RB?

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIOctober 17, 2011

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 18:  Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas #33 runs for yardage during a game against the Houston Texans at Sun Life Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins will try to get their first win of the season tonight as they travel to MetLife Stadium to take on the 2-3 New York Jets. The Fins have question marks all over their offense, as Matt Moore steps in for the injured Chad Henne at quarterback and rookie running back Daniel Thomas continues his recovery from a hamstring injury. Thomas traveled with the team to the game, but he isn't expected to be at 100 percent.

Lex Hilliard took the majority of the practice reps at running back last week and is expected to get carries in tonight's game. While Reggie Bush is likely to out-carry Hilliard if Thomas doesn't play much, Hilliard should still see some action. 

Thomas will likely be active tonight, but with an 0-4 record and not much hope for a turnaround this season, the Dolphins shouldn't press their rookie running back into action until he's completely over his hamstring injury. 

Expect Bush and Hilliard to be the team's running back combination this week, with the latter running between the tackles and in goal-line situations. The big concern this week will be protecting quarterback Matt Moore anyway, and if Thomas has one major flaw in his game, it is pass protection. That leads me to believe that he won't see much time, if any.

While Thomas is officially listed as questionable for tonight's game, you shouldn't expect much from him. He has had a nice start to his career, rushing 41 times for 202 yards, and catching four passes for 37 yards and a touchdown in just two games. The Dolphins might have found something with the 23-year-old out of Kansas State, but they should proceed with caution to ensure the hamstring injury doesn't linger.

I'd be shocked if Thomas saw anything close to full-time carries tonight, and don't expect him to see the field much.