- Associated Press - Monday, July 31, 2017

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase decided to risk heavy contact by allowing tackling at practice Monday, and the hitting was so fierce that running back Jay Ajayi suffered a possible concussion.

Ajayi walked off the field accompanied by trainers after several jarring collisions, including one that dislodged linebacker Lawrence Timmons’ helmet.

Gase declined to second-guess his decision - at least not with the media.

“If we don’t go live, you guys write that we don’t work on tackling,” he said. “If we do go live and somebody gets hurt, then you say we shouldn’t. You’re going to be wrong either way. We feel like that’s best for our football team. We needed to go live and tackle, and it’s football.”

Gase said the Dolphins didn’t tackle in a training camp practice during his first year as coach in 2016 - and also didn’t tackle well at the start of the season. He ran the idea of a full-contact drill past the team.

“When you talk to some of your veteran players, and you can’t even finish the sentence and they’re saying, ‘Absolutely,’ that’s when you know it’s a good thing,” he said.

Ajayi had a breakout year for the Dolphins last season, when he ran for 1,272 yards and had consecutive 200-yard games.


For more NFL coverage: https://www.pro32.ap.org and https://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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