As practice opened and players were stretching, several members of the coaching staff stood in the end zone nearest the building throwing footballs at a collection of overturned trash cans the defensive tackles often use in their drills. The referees who attend each practice were behind the buckets, collecting the balls as they were thrown. I'm not certain what the objective was though it seemed to be to hit the buckets or come as close as possible. For the record, Dan Quinn doesn't have a pretty throwing motion. Terry Robiskie, Raheem Morris and, not surprisingly, quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur seemed to be the most accurate. What was most apparent was how much everyone was enjoying it.
I'm sharing this story for two reasons -- firstly, the team only allows us to watch the first 30 minutes of practice, so there's only so much to report. Secondly, Dan Quinn talks a great deal about connecting with players and with his staff, and this was another illustration of how that's not just talk.
After practice, Quinn said that the team has focused on improving the run game throughout the week, and that today's practice had a special emphasis on red zone work.
William Moore (calf), Antone Smith (hamstring) and linebacker Derek Akunne (foot) were held out of today's practice and did some work with the athletic performance staff. Both Moore and Antone were running well and seem to be coming along nicely in terms of recovery. Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and Desmond Trufant all practiced again today.
After practice, Quinn ruled Moore, Smith, Roddy White (elbow) and Peter Konz (knee) out for Saturday's game. Even though Trufant has been practicing, Quinn said he is unlikely to play against the Dolphins.
Quinn said that Tevin Coleman, who suffered his hamstring injury first, is closer to being game-ready than Devonta Freeman, and he said that Coleman should get some playing time Saturday barring any setbacks. It's possible Freeman will play, though he is close to being ready, per Quinn. Akunne is also a maybe, though considering the fact that he was working with trainers today rather than practicing, I think it's doubtful.
Your thoughts on the injuries and Saturday's game?