Dolphins' Kenyan Drake in walking boot, could miss rest of preseason with right foot injury

Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake left practice early on Tuesday after sustaining a right foot injury, and showed up on Wednesday sporting a walking boot. 

Head coach Brian Flores told Armando Salguero that this injury will "be a while," but that Drake will hopefully be ready for the season opener. Drake and Kalen Ballage are battling for the starting running back position, and if Drake misses an extended amount of time, that would open the door for Ballage to take hold of the starting role.

Drake is coming off of a career year, as he rushed for 535 yards and four touchdowns, and also caught 53 passes for 477 yards and five more touchdowns. He also played a major role in the "Miracle in Miami," when he took a lateral 52 yards for a touchdown with no time remaining to defeat the New England Patriots in Week 14. While he has more NFL experience than Ballage, who is entering his second season, the Dolphins have a new head coach in Flores, who is going to make his own opinion on who to start. 

Ballage rushed 36 times for 191 yards and one touchdown last season. He only played in 12 games, and didn't earn a big role in the offense until later in the season, but he's viewed as someone who could become a feature back one day. 

Earlier this offseason, Senior Fantasy analyst Heath Cummings named Ballage as one of his "sleeper" picks at the running back position for the 2019 fantasy football season.

"I've had Kenyan Drake as one of my favorite breakout candidates, but it's getting harder to ignore the fact that every coach seems to view Drake as nothing more than a change-of-pace guy," Cummings said. "With that in mind, Ballage is currently a huge value at his ADP. This is a competition in camp with multiple possible outcomes. The most likely now seems that it will be a committee with Ballage getting at least half of the rush attempts. If he wins the job outright? You may have just won your league."

It's possible that Miami is just being cautious with their running back. The Tennessee Titans did something similar last month, when they placed Derrick Henry in a walking boot and kept him out of practice as well as on the sideline for the preseason opener. According to Adam Schefter, Henry strained a calf muscle and has been sidelined for more than two weeks, but has been taking part in individual drills. It's all about being cautious with a key player in hopes that a small issue doesn't turn into a bigger issue. 

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