DAVIE, Fla. -- When Arian Foster made his NFL breakthrough in 2010, Marcus Thigpen took note, confident he could make a big splash himself if given an opportunity.
That chance will likely come Sunday, when Thigpen assumes a more prominent role with the Miami Dolphins in their road game against the New York Jets.
With running back Daniel Thomas sidelined because of a sprained ankle, Thigpen has been promoted to the backup spot behind starter Lamar Miller. That likely means significant playing time for Thigpen, a second-year pro who has excelled as a kick returner but has only three career carries.
"I always had the idea that if I could get the opportunity to go out there and showcase my talents, I could shock the coaches," Thigpen said. "They don't know what I can do, because I haven't been in this position. Once they can give me the opportunity, I can definitely show them."
Including runbacks, Thigpen has had five gains of 50 yards or more in his brief career, which underscores his breakaway ability.
"Marcus is a talented guy," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said Wednesday. "We've all seen his speed flash at certain times on special teams. He's a weapon we can use in this offense. It's going to be exciting to see what he can bring to the table."