DAVIE — Dolphins Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi is in the NFL concussion protocol due to a hit he sustained in Monday's practice, most likely from safety T.J. McDonald during a two-minute drill. When Ajayi will return to practice is uncertain and will be determined by team trainers, not coaches or Ajayi.
The Dolphins will host the Bucs on Sept. 10 in the season opener for both.
"Especially with the concussions, they go through the protocol," coach Adam Gase said Wednesday, "and whatever the timetable is, it is what it is. I think by now in our league we all know that."
Running backs Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams will share the load in Ajayi's absence.
"We had a certain plan for him anyways for the preseason of what he's going to do, when he was going to do it, so I don't really see this as taking away from a lot of the things we were going to do with him," Gase said.
Cowboys-Cards tonight, with stars sitting out
Don't look for too many stars on the field tonight when the Cowboys and Cardinals kick off the NFL preseason in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio (8, NBC).
Don't look for many starters, either.
For those who believe four preseason games are too many, seeing their team play in Canton isn't a welcome sight. Both coaches, Jason Garrett for Dallas and Bruce Arians for Arizona, will covet getting an extra chance to watch their rookies and fringe guys compete. That's it.
As for the Dak Prescotts, Jason Wittens and Ezekiel Elliotts from Dallas, forget it. Same for Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson for the Cardinals.
"This will be about the young guys," Arians said, although top draft choice Haason Reddick of Temple, who is making a switch from defensive end to linebacker, will see limited action, too.
Kellen Moore is likely to see his first action since the end of the 2015 season with the Cowboys, when he made his first two career starts in mopup duty.
For the Cardinals, not only will Palmer, coming off a mediocre season, be sitting out, so will his backup, Drew Stanton. The quarterbacking duties will fall mostly to journeyman Blaine Gabbert, seeking a spot in Arizona after supplanting Colin Kaepernick as 49ers starter last year.
Two young defensive ends are anticipating their NFL debuts: Dallas rookie first-round pick Taco Charlton and second-year player Charles Tapper. A third-round pick last year, Tapper missed his rookie season, preseason included, with a back injury.
EASLEY COULD MISS SEASON: Rams defensive lineman Dominique Easley is expected to miss the season with a torn right knee ligament. The former Gator, a likely starter this season, tore ligaments in both knees during college.
CHARGERS: Rookie offensive lineman Forrest Lamp tore a ligament in his right knee during practice.
JAGUARS: Running back I'Tavius Mathers was set to be released from the hospital a day after suffering a neck injury during practice. The teams aid the medical staff will work with him to decide the best course for his recovery.
TEXANS: Receiver Will Fuller is expected to miss 2-3 months after sustaining a broken collarbone during practice.