MIAMI GARDENS — Miami Dolphins running back De’Von Achane suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Hard Rock Stadium. He never returned in the 20-13 win.
The rookie phenom was just activated off injured reserve Saturday for his preexisting knee injury. The IR stint kept him out the minimum four games and he had the ensuing bye week for an extra week of recovery.
“He kind of got landed on,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said of the injury that occurred on the same knee he had come back from hurting Oct. 8 versus the New York Giants.
“It was a little painful, and he was politicking to try to come back in the game. But I was a little worried off the rust to go and do that, so we kind of held him back.”
The outlook does appear mildly positive, however, but McDaniel took the cautious approach of keeping the blazing tailback sidelined. The Dolphins are expected to learn more about the ailment Monday.
“Some positive feedback from the training staff at the end of the second quarter and after halftime,” McDaniel said, “but I didn’t feel like that would’ve been fair to him.”
Achane finished with just one carry for a yard, which was Miami’s first offensive play as he got the start, and the 4-yard reception that resulted in the injury.
He was never officially ruled out, as McDaniel kept a window open for the speedster. Achane initially stood on the sideline for the remainder of a drive that ended in a touchdown pass from Tua Tagovailoa to Tyreek Hill before going into the blue medical tent on the team’s sideline.
Later in the first half, Achane walked slowly but without an exaggerated limp into the locker room. He then returned to the sideline but without a helmet.
In addition to Achane, fellow running back Salvon Ahmed left Sunday’s game. He was evaluated for concussion, cleared to return but never re-entered.
In the second quarter, Hill also had an injury scare, but he was able to return.
Hill walked into the locker room while accompanied by a trainer and grasping at his right hand. It happened after Hill was tackled on a Miami fourth-and-1 near the goal line where a screen to him led to a loss.
“I got my (behind) popped,” Hill said of the play. “My hand, it was just in the middle of me catching a ball when dude’s helmet hit my hand. But it’s nothing serious, though. It was just a little pain.”
Hill returned to the Miami sideline with his helmet on. He was back in on the following offensive series and finished with 10 receptions, 146 yards and his earlier 38-yard touchdown.
The wide receiver in pursuit of a 2,000-yard season said he did a quick X-ray and also tried taping the hand before determining it made it difficult to catch while taped.
The Dolphins were without wide receiver Braxton Berrios and tight end Durham Smythe against the Raiders after both entered questionable.
Berrios, hampered by a hamstring injury, and Smythe, dealing with an ankle ailment, were among the Dolphins’ inactive players announced 90 minutes before the kickoff.
McDaniel attributed some of the offensive inefficiencies Sunday, in part, to playing without the two veteran pass-catchers, along with Achane’s early injury.
Meanwhile, running back Jeff Wilson Jr. was a healthy inactive. He was not available to spell Mostert once Achane and Ahmed were out of the game. Fullback Alec Ingold was active after he entered Sunday questionable with a foot injury.
The Dolphins also had offensive linemen Robert Hunt (hamstring) and Robert Jones (knee) and wide receiver Chase Claypool (knee) ruled out Friday. Quarterback Skylar Thompson rounded out the team’s inactives.
Without Smythe, the Dolphins were left with rookie Julian Hill and Tyler Kroft at the position. Hill started Sunday. He had a 10-yard catch, the second of his career, but lost a fumble on the play.
With Hunt and Jones out, Miami went with Liam Eichenberg at right guard and Lester Cotton at left guard. It was the sixth different starting combination on the line for Miami this season, and Eichenberg has now started at all five O-line positions deep into his third NFL season.
With Berrios out, Miami was also without its starting kick and punt returner. Cedrick Wilson Jr. had three punt returns for 30 yards.
The Raiders were without starting left tackle Kolton Miller, who entered questionable. Jermaine Eluemunor started at the position, with Thayer Munford at right tackle. Left guard Dylan Parham was active after he was also questionable. Defensive tackle Nesta Jade Silvera, who played in high school at American Heritage and collegiately with the Miami Hurricanes, was a healthy scratch.
McDaniel got some distance on a challenge flag toss on his successful second-half challenge of a sideline catch by Raiders wide receiver Tre Tucker, overturned upon review.
“Yeah, I apologized to those guys,” McDaniel said after hurling the flag 30-plus yards. “I’m not a ‘look at me’ flag thrower. What was happening is I was engaged in a conversation. I told people to speed me up on the replays that they got, and then I lost track that I told people that, and I was deep into the conversation, and then people were yelling at me, and I wasn’t next to an official, so I just wanted to get it in view.
“It wasn’t like, ‘Yeah, take that, officiating!’”
McDaniel is now 2 for 9 on challenges in his career. He was 1 for 6 in his first year as coach and 0 for 2 in 2023 entering Sunday.
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