Ballage will serve as the Dolphins' lead running back as long as Kenyan Drake (foot) remains sidelined, Omar Kelly and Safid Deen of the South Florida Sun Sentinel report.

Ballage dominated first-team reps during Wednesday's joint practice with the Buccaneers, an unsurprising development while Drake was unavailable. The second-year back reportedly made the most of his opportunity, highlighted by a 35-yard scoring jaunt to the outside along with a screen pass in which he nearly converted for another touchdown during 11-on-11 drills. Drake -- who was spotted wearing a walking boot Wednesday - has reportedly avoided any structural damage to his foot and is expected to be ready for Week 1. In any event, Drake could realistically concede ground to Ballage in Miami's ongoing backfield competition if his rehab process is slow and Ballage is able to capitalize on the increased reps.

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