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Dolphins 2021 Week 6 Snap Counts ... And What They Mean

Injuries to starters Xavien Howard, Byron Jones and DeVante Parker provided opportunities for young Miami players against Jacksonville

The Miami Dolphins played without starting cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, and that opened the door for some younger players to get additional playing time.

And at the forefront was Noah Igbinoghene.

The 2020 first-round pick not only got a defensive snap for the first time all season, he played all 66 defensive snaps, according to the official gamebook.

Igbinoghene started alongside Nik Needham and Justin Coleman as the Dolphins opened the game with three cornerbacks.

This wasn't the first time Igbinoghene had played a full game on defense for the Dolphins because he did it as a rookie in Week 3 against Jacksonville and Week 4 against Seattle after Jones was injured in the 2020 Week 2 game against Buffalo.

But after struggling in those two games, Igbinoghene played a total of 64 snaps on defense the final 12 games of 2020 before resurfacing Sunday.

Like Igbinoghene, Coleman ended up playing every defensive snap against Jacksonville, quite an increase from the 12 snaps he played in the 45-17 loss against Tampa Bay.

The other player on the field for all 66 defensive snaps was rookie second-round pick Jevon Holland, who made his third start in six games.

McCOURTY'S ROLE FADING

On the flip side, the playing time of veteran defensive back Jason McCourty continued to dwindle.

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After playing 70 snaps in the Week 4 game against the Colts, he was down to 27 snaps against Tampa Bay and against the Jaguars ended up getting only 14 defensive snaps, as the Dolphins favored both Holland and Brandon Jones (48 snaps) at safety.

Rookie first-round pick Jaelan Phillips had another busy game, getting 54 of the 66 snaps on defense, though he wasn't nearly as active as he was against Tampa Bay.

On the defensive line, the numbers that jumped out at us were the 29 snaps for Zach Sieler and the 26 snaps for Adam Butler. In Sieler's case, we think his production warrants more playing time; with Butler, it's just disappointing to see such little contribution from a 2021 free agent acquisition who was supposed to help the pass rush, which certainly could use it.

OFFENSIVE OBSERVATIONS

On offense, Mack Hollins (68 of 70 snaps) and Jaylen Waddle (65) were on the field practically the whole game, which wasn't surprising given the injuries to DeVante Parker and Preston Williams.

Albert Wilson played only 23 snaps, while Isaiah Ford got five.

Kirk Merritt, who like Ford was elevated from the practice squad for this game, was among four players who dressed but didn't play against Jacksonville.

The others were rookie CB Trill Williams, who was in line to make his NFL debut, and offensive linemen Robert Jones and Austin Reiter.

Similar to wide receiver, the playing time at tight end pretty much went to two players, Durham Smythe and Mike Gesicki, and it's a bit surprising it ended up being Smythe getting the most snaps (58-49) given how productive Gesicki has been in the passing game lately.

Rookie third-round pick Hunter Long was active for only the third time this season, but he might as well not have been considering he played only nine snaps on offense and none on special teams.

RUNNING BACK ROTATION

Finally, there was the running back position where the work load was pretty evenly split among Malcolm Brown (25 snaps), Myles Gaskin (25) and Salvon Ahmed (19).

This might be a case of when you have three running backs, you don't have a running back — which is a story for another day.