MIAMI – The Miami Dolphins will be without several defensive starters in Saturday's AFC wild-card game against the Kansas City Chiefs, coach Mike McDaniel announced Monday.
Linebackers Andrew Van Ginkel and Jerome Baker will miss not only Saturday's game but also the rest of the postseason, McDaniel said, after suffering foot and wrist injuries, respectively, in Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Baker underwent wrist surgery on Monday; he had just returned from a four-week absence with a knee injury. McDaniel said Van Ginkel's treatment schedule is still being determined, but confirmed he will miss the remainder of the postseason.
Their injuries eliminate two more starters from a depleted linebacker corps that has already lost Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb this season. Second-year linebacker Cameron Goode, who filled in for Van Ginkel on Sunday night, also suffered a torn patellar tendon in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the season.
Emmanuel Ogbah and Melvin Ingram are currently the only healthy fullbacks on the Dolphins' roster, while Duke Riley, Channing Tindall and David Long Jr. remain Miami's healthy interior defenders.
McDaniel also said the team does not plan to use cornerback Xavien Howard in Saturday's game. He is expected to miss his second straight game after suffering a foot injury in Miami's loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17. McDaniel said his injury did not require surgery and it was still possible, although unlikely, for Howard to play against the Chiefs.
Veteran Eli Apple is expected to start in Howard's place; Against the Bills, he allowed 8 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets, but still managed to throw in an interception.