Jay Ajayi exits practice early to be evaluated for concussion

Today marked the first day of live hitting for the Miami Dolphins and Jay Ajayi got a large piece of the action in the early goings of the practice. Unfortunately, after a few punishing runs during Monday’s team period, team trainers took his helmet away and he was escorted into the team facility for further evaluation.

Following practice, coach Adam Gase confirmed that the immediate concern was that the star running back might have sustained a concussion.

“He was getting evaluated for a concussion,” Gase said. “I’ll know more this afternoon, I didn’t get a full debriefing of everything today so far. We usually get it in a couple of hours.”

Deciding when to cut back on contact and when to schedule practices that entail live contact is a delicate balance to achieve for all 32 NFL teams every year. However, Gase is prepared to meet scrutiny, whether his practices are deemed too physical, or too soft in the eyes of the general public.

“You’re not going to win either way. If we don’t go live you guys [media] write that we don’t work on tackling. If we go live and somebody gets hurt you guys say, ‘you shouldn’t.’ It doesn’t matter, you’re going to be wrong either way. So we feel like that’s best for our football team. We needed to go live and tackle and – it’s football.”

Adding to Gase’s reasoning for going with live tackling for today’s practice was that the number of missed tackles last season were unacceptable, and it took the team much longer than he would have anticipated to improve in the trenches. In addition to Gase and his coaching staff wanting to have live tackling sessions during training camp, the players were excited about the prospect of full contact as well.

“When you talk to some of your veteran players [about live tackling] and you can’t even finish the sentence and they’re saying ‘absolutely,’ that’s when you know it’s a good thing.”

Live tackling is for the greater good of the entire team, but unfortunately Ajayi was a mere casualty of war on Monday.

While it is not clear whether or not Ajayi did suffer a concussion, head injuries in general are very serious in nature. With that said, it is believed that Ajayi will be back sooner rather than later.


Brandon Howard joined the Sports Talk Florida team to cover the Miami Dolphins in April 2017 and will work diligently to provide daily Dolphins content and give accurate analysis of the roster, coaching and front office. Last season, Howard was the curator of content for Miami Dolphins Wire/ USA Today while aggregating high school sports results in Broward and Palm Beach counties for the Sun Sentinel. Prior to moving to South Florida Howard developed NFL content for Pro Player Insiders while covering the Cleveland Browns from 2014-2015. Howard, a Columbus, Ohio native graduated from West Virginia in 2004 in Athletic Coaching and Education. He also was a scholarship track and field athlete and walk-on football player. Howard was the 2003 Big East Long and IC4A long jump Champion and was a provisional national qualifier in the event. He also maintained his status as a member of the Athletic Director Academic Honor Roll during his time as a Mountaineer.