Dolphins practice notes: Clay optimistic

DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins completed their final practice in preparation for Saturday’s third preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Here are some notes and observations on Thursday’s session:

  • Dolphins tight end Charles Clay completed a full week of practice and is optimistic about his chances of playing against Dallas. Clay missed the first two preseason games with a knee injury. But he returned to practice this week with no setbacks. Clay told me he feels ready, but the final decision probably won’t be made by the team until Friday. “I feel good,” Clay said. “It felt good to get back out there and get the timing and things back down with the quarterbacks. Mentally, I’ve been getting myself prepared. But just being able to get out there and physically being able to run through everything is a good feeling.”

  • Thursday’s practice was a light walk-through. The team stayed inside the entire time and practiced in shorts and no pads. There was virtually little contact and the practice took approximately one hour.

  • Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said they will game plan for the Cowboys more than any preseason opponent. Because it is a dress rehearsal, Miami also simulated a regular-season week where the team will put in a specific plan for an opponent. “The game plan is in, every part of it is in,” Philbin said after practice. “So guys get a chance to kind of let it sink in and get ready to perform on Saturday night.”

  • In terms of injuries, kickoff return specialist Marcus Thigpen (hamstring), running back Daniel Thomas (hamstring), cornerback Jalil Brown (thigh) and kicker Caleb Sturgis (groin) were the key players who didn’t practice Thursday. There is a good chance these players won’t suit up Saturday against Dallas.

  • The Dolphins will have a day off Friday before playing the Cowboys Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. Miami will wrap up its preseason on Aug. 28 against the St. Louis Rams.