Miami's running game has been bad lately and now it might have just gotten worse. Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said on Monday that running back Daniel Thomas is 'out of the picture' after injuring his ankle in Miami's 20-16 loss to Carolina on Sunday.
Although Sherman didn't specify how long Thomas might be out, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has reported that Thomas tore a ligament in his ankle and is likely done for the season.
Thomas carried the ball three times for eight yards against the Panthers. The Dolphins 26th ranked rushing offense only totaled 52 yards against Carolina. Since Nov. 1, Miami has averaged only 52.7 yards per game on the ground, including a Week 10 loss to Tampa Bay where the Dolphins ran for only two yards.
"With Daniel Thomas out of the picture, certainly [Mike] Gillislee has to step up, [Marcus] Thigpen has to step up and certainly [Lamar] Miller as well," Sherman said. "It's certainly a challenge."
The challenge will be replacing Thomas' production, which might not end up being that difficult. With 279 yards, Thomas has been the Dolphins second leading rusher this season, trailing only Miller's 475. Thomas' three rushing touchdowns through 11 games leads the team.
As Sherman mentioned, Thomas' injury could lead to more playing time for Gillislee. The rookie fifth-round pick out of Florida has yet to play in a game this year, but he did rush for over 1,100 yards during his senior season as a Gator.