I wrote in these pages a few months ago that Ryan Tannehill would be unleashed as a running threat for the Dolphins this year. I never took things so far as to claim that RT would be the Dolphins leading rusher. But here we are.
The Dolphins cannot ask Tannehill to be everything on offense. They must boost their 3.7 yard average per carry and find someone who can carry the ball with durability and reliability. In Foster's absence, that can only be Isaiah Pead.
Consider the facts: Ajayi is a fifth round pick. He averages 2.2 yards per carry. He fumbles and has already exhibited a sense of entitlement and attitude problems. This ain't Idaho, kid. We have options.
Drake is promising, but he's a role player. 10 touches a game seems about right, and to get those touched he'll need to work on blitz pickups so he's not a liability.
Williams is hard nosed and an excellent change of pace option. He doesn't project as an every down player in this league, and is the sort of player who maintains roster viability by being useful on Special Teams and being comfortable in his bit role.
That leaves Pead. A second round pick who never found his way, he is fresh. He averaged 6+ yards per carry in preseason. And he wants to be a spark. This is precisely the sort of player who sneaks up on you and takes your job while you are nursing another soft tissue issue in you brother's garage on some bizarre dietary regimen, not that I have anyone in mind.
Foster had the best chance of starting the year, given his experience and pedigree. Pead has the best chance of finishing.
Oh, and a random thought for Tanny-hate nation: Did you compare his numbers to Osweilier's tonight? The Texans gave their QB 4+ yards per carry and he couldn't move the ball at the razor. Our guy got no help on the ground and put up 300+. Tannehill is good. The rest of the offense needs to pick it up.