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Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel on Raheem Mostert (knee): 'I know his expectations are to play Week 1'

Thirty-second, 22nd and 30th are the Miami Dolphins' ranks in rushing yards in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Running the ball has been an arduous endeavor for the Fins offense and new head coach Mike McDaniel seems quite intent on changing that.

With Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin already in the running backs room, the Dolphins have added former Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds, former Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots rusher Sony Michel and former San Francisco 49ers speedster Raheem Mostert.

It is the latter who McDaniel is likely most familiar with as both had been with the Niners organization for years prior to venturing east to Miami.

McDaniel knows just how explosive Mostert can be, but he also knows his injury history and that's why excitement must be tempered as Mostert continues on his road back from knee surgery.

"I know his expectations are to play Week 1 and we are not going to rush it," McDaniel said Tuesday, via team transcript. "He's come too far to have a setback, so he's just diligently working day-in and day-out. But when he's ready, he'll be on the field for sure."

Mostert's 2021 campaign lasted all of one game, as a cartilage injury required surgery and forced him to miss the final 16 games of the year -- and the playoffs. Thus, McDaniel isn't exaggerating when he says Mostert has come too far for a setback.

Mostert first joined San Francisco in 2016, while McDaniel joined the organization in 2017 as run game coordinator.

Under the guise of McDaniel, Mostert had his finest career season in 2019 during the Niners' march to the Super Bowl. Mostert tallied a career-high 772 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Then came an iconic performance in the NFC Championship Game when Mostert exploded for a title-game record 220 yards rushing to go along with four touchdowns in a dismantling of the Green Bay Packers.

Having signed a one-year deal with Miami, Mostert will look to revisit his prior form following back-to-back campaigns of injury woes as he's combined to play in only nine games over the last two seasons.

Of note is that when Mostert shined for the 49ers in 2019, while he was the team's leading rusher, he was one of three San Francisco backs with more than 500 yards on the ground. The backfield stable assembled in Miami certainly has that potential and more, with Gaskin, Edmonds, Mostert and Michel having all churned out seasons with at least 500 yards on the ground.

"I think one thing that's unique about that particular room is no one shies away from competition," McDaniel said. "Everybody in there is excited for the offense, for the opportunities and wants the best man to win and aren't backing away from that."

Mostert has the potential to be the gamebreaker out of the bunch, but there's no rush to get him back, as it would seem slow and steady is the approach with the RB in the hopes of him being fast and spectacular in the 2022 season.

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