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Dolphins Q&A: What’s going on with Jason Sanders in the kicking game?

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Here’s the latest installment of our Miami Dolphins Q&A, where South Florida Sun Sentinel writers David Furones and Omar Kelly answer questions from readers.

Q: How do #Dolphins fix kicking game in the off-season? I find it hard to believe that Sanders has lost his touch. Is Palardy the issue with the holds? Will Palardy get replaced? — Dixon Tam on Twitter

A: There’s something to it at this point. Jason Sanders has missed a kick in five of the past seven games.

The latest: Doinking an extra point off an upright in Sunday’s win over the Carolina Panthers at Hard Rock Stadium, just a week after a field goal attempt at MetLife Stadium banged off the goalpost.

Between the five missed field goals and the point-after attempt on Sunday, he has missed six kicks, doubling last year’s total of three when he was an All-Pro selection in 2020.

Sanders is in a little bit of a funk right now, but I wouldn’t give up on him and make a drastic change this offseason. We still know what he’s capable of when he’s on his game, and he hasn’t yet compounded multiple misses within a game to the point where you say he’s got the yips. Against the Panthers on Sunday, he did make two fourth-quarter field goal attempts — under no pressure in the blowout, granted — after his extra-point failed.

As far as punter Michael Palardy being his new holder this season, Dolphins special teams coordinator Danny Crossman denied that had anything to do with the misses last week.

“In this profession, and especially in that job, it’s a fine line between being successful and not being successful,” Crossman said. “We have complete confidence in [Sanders]. It’s small things. We’ll keep working, and Jason will be fine.”

Crossman also said there has been no change in Sanders’ mechanics.

“There’s nothing different,” he said. “He’s been the same for the three years that I’ve had him. We’ll just keep fine-tuning and keep working and keep grinding. One thing about Jason is he’s a worker. We’ll get that taken care of.”

As far as Palardy’s role in the punting game, he shanked a few early in the season and has one of the lowest yards-per-punt averages in the NFL (44.2), but he’s No. 3 in the league in punts inside the 20 (21). He has pinned opponents down deep plenty, and gunner Mack Hollins has great chemistry with him downing his kicks deep in opponents’ territory.

Sanders also just signed a five-year contract extension this past offseason. Palardy is on a one-year deal.

Have a question?

Email David Furones, or tag @OmarKelly or @DavidFurones_ on Twitter.

Previously answered:

What changes could come to receiving corps in offseason?

What offensive linemen should Dolphins target in free agency?

Why are Dolphins interceptions down from last year?

Can Tua still be a top-10 quarterback?

Was 2021 team destined for failure before Tua’s injury?

Does Austin Jackson’s move to left guard bring hope?

Did franchise botch Fitzpatrick, Tunsil, Tannehill trades?

Will O-line go through more changes?

Does Tua’s injury reignite Deshaun Watson talks?

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Man pleads guilty in Arapahoe County to 10 counts of child sex assault

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Colorado man gets 3 years for killing pro bicyclist in crash

A defendant in a child sex assault case, with multiple alleged victims, pleaded guilty Friday in Arapahoe County District Court.

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Flattened St. Louis area COVID hospitalizations promise future decline

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Flattened St. Louis area COVID hospitalizations promise future decline

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – St Louis regional hospitalization totals over the past eleven days have shown a flattening of the Omicron Variant-fueled surge that led to drastic jumps in hospital admissions over the past two months.  Total COVID-19 hospitalizations in the last week-and-a-half have hovered at a high point of 1,449 patients on January 17th to a low of 1,391 on the following day.  Hospitalizations have held steady during this Omicron peak after jumping astronomically in December and early January.  Since Thanksgiving, the region has witnessed a chaotic rise in hospitalizations from 318 patients on Thanksgiving, to 615 patients on Christmas, and now 1,403 patients in a report released today by the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force. 

The silver lining in today’s report may be that the region is no longer seeing daily hospitalization increases like it had witnessed in late December and early January.  Pandemic Task Force leaders hope the region is on the brink of a decline in hospitalizations, but caution against anyone disregarding mitigation efforts to curb the spread.  The Task Force is made up of hospitals run by the SSM, BJC, Mercy and St. Luke’s Hospital systems.  The numbers now also include hospitalizations reported by the St Louis VA Hospital. 

The Task Force reported 194 new hospital admissions in today’s numbers, framed against 223 patients who were discharged.  The group also reported 14 new COVID deaths.   Discharges have also outpaced admissions over the past week, with 1,418 new patients entering the hospital as 1,473 patients were released.  That bodes well for the region and signals a decline in hospitalizations over the course of a full week. 

Fifty-five pediatric patients are now hospitalized in the region with 11 of those children receiving ICU care.  Adult patients in ICU units now total 209 patients, with 121 people still needing ventilator care in order to breathe.  

As the hospitalizations have surged under Omicron, so have the number of breakthrough cases sending vaccinated people to seek care.  Today, the Task Force reports 39 percent of all hospitalizations involve patients who have had two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  However, Task Force officials point out that people who have also received the vaccine booster represent a very small percentage of our current hospitalizations. 

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Missouri electric vehicle debate: Should businesses have to pay for charging stations?

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Missouri electric vehicle debate: Should businesses have to pay for charging stations?

ST. LOUIS (KTVI)–A Missouri lawmaker wants to put the brakes on a local government’s ability to require businesses to install charging stations for electric vehicle charging stations, as municipal efforts ramp up in anticipation of greater demand.

The city of St. Louis and St. Louis county have already passed ordinances which require businesses, especially with new construction, to include electric vehicle charging stations. Brentwood just passed one last month.

Republican State Rep. Jim Murphy, of St. Louis County has introduced HB 1584, which would require “political subdivisions that require the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at certain businesses to pay the costs associated with the installation, maintenance, and operation of such stations.”

Critics of the move to require the private sector to cover the costs say that the free market should drive the push for charging stations and that even if it is the wave of the future, the demand isn’t here yet. The Missouri Independent reports that Murphy believes “forcing small businesses to install chargers was an unfair and unfunded mandate.”

In a January 12 public hearing in front of the House Transportation Committee, the Sierra Club was among those who spoke in opposition to the proposal. The result of the bill would be to restrict
planning for transportation electrification which would harm our health and economy. Transportation
plays a significant role in Missouri’s economy,” Michael Berg, the Political Director for the Missouri chapter of the Sierra Club said in submitted testimony. “It is the single largest energy use sector in the state and
is a large capital drain on the economic system because Missouri produces no gasoline. In 2019,
statewide expenditures on conventional transportation fuels exceeded $11 billion, the vast majority of
which flowed out of the state. Fueling EVs with electricity generated in-state can reverse this trend.”

The bill was supported in the hearing by the Construction Employers Coalition and the Missouri Petroleum and Convenience Association. The proposal will be back before the committee on January 26.

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