Here are some quick thoughts on the Dolphins' loss to Tampa Bay.
QB Depth Chart: Miami’s depth chart at quarterback wasn’t going to change in the fourth preseason game. Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore remain the starter and backup, respectively, entering the regular season. McLeod Bethel-Thompson (127 yards, two interceptions) and former first-round pick Josh Freeman (165 yards, two interceptions) didn't do enough to convince Miami to keep three quarterbacks. Both combined for four interceptions.
First-Round Action: Dolphins first-round pick DeVante Parker made his debut on Thursday. The receiver started for the Dolphins and recorded one reception for 11 yards in less than two quarters of work. Parker had summer foot surgery and missed all of training camp and the first three games of the preseason. It was a good chance for Parker to shake the rust before the regular season.
Stock Up: Dolphins cornerback Will Davis needed a big game. He responded by making two interceptions off Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon in the first half. Davis’ performance strengthens his chances to make Miami’s 53-man roster. It's also possible that Davis could be trade bait due to a bevy of young corners.
Stock Up II: There was some angst among Dolphins fans this week when the team decided to cut veteran and former Pro Bowl punter Brandon Fields in favor of undrafted rookie Matt Darr. However, Darr had a strong training camp and another solid preseason game Thursday. He landed three punts inside the 20-yard line.
Stock Down: After a solid training camp and preseason, backup running back LaMichael James muffed a punt in the first quarter that could impact his chances of making the 53-man roster. The Dolphins were hoping James could take over return duties this season for receiver Jarvis Landry, who will have a big role in the offense. But Thursday’s fumble will make Miami think twice if it should trust James to return kicks in the regular season.
Rookie Watch: Miami rookie running back Jay Ajayi had a quiet summer, mostly battling injuries in training camp and early in the preseason. Ajayi needed to show what he could do and had his best exhibition game to date against Tampa Bay. The rookie rushed for 66 yards on nine carries.
One Reason To Freak Out: The Dolphins didn’t suffer any major injuries to key players, which is good news for Miami. A big reason was due to the Dolphins resting nearly all of their starters. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Pro Bowl defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake and other starters dressed but stayed on the sidelines. Tampa Bay also didn’t play rookie No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston to preserve his health for the regular season.
What’s Next: The Dolphins will turn their attention to roster cuts over the next two days. Miami, which currently has 75 players, must cut 22 people to get down to the NFL-mandated 53-man roster by Saturday.