MIAMI GARDENS — Andrew Van Ginkel is working on putting the pounds back on.
The snaps, he figures, will come after that.
Van Ginkel is still rebounding from the effects of appendicitis suffered late in training camp, a bout that saw him lose his appetite and therefore, “a little bit of weight.” Put it together and it explains why a linebacker who started 25 games the past two seasons did not play a single defensive snap last weekend vs. Baltimore.
Calling all Buffalo fans: Sports columnist plays defense to offended New York readers: ‘I really do love Buffalo’
So no, it’s not a demotion.
“I would say the fact that he’s come back from appendix surgery in like 2 1/2 weeks is pretty impressive in and of itself,” defensive coordinator Josh Boyer said. “I would say he’s working his way back. I would say he’s getting his weight back, which I feel like he’s getting at pretty much back to where it was. It’s very impressive that his mental makeup and his desire to get back as fast as he has, and then there’s a lot of times where just because everybody’s available to you doesn’t mean you want to rush them out there.”
Easy for Boyer to say. Not so easy for a player watching his team get off to a 2-0 start.
“Just the timing,” Van Ginkel said of the most frustrating aspect of his situation. “You know, being right at the end of training camp, right? And you get a few weeks in, you start feeling good, comfortable, and now I feel like I had to knock the rust off again, which is tough.”
Van Ginkel said as soon as he didn’t feel right, he went to Dolphins trainer Kyle Johnston.
“He said, ‘Yeah, you might want to go to the hospital and get it checked out,’ ” Van Ginkel said. “And I went in there and the first thing they said is it’s appendicitis. They asked where it was. I said my lower right side. As soon as I said that, they thought instantly it was my appendix.”
Van Ginkel went home, slept, but by the next day he felt worse.
“There’s just a very strong discomfort,” he said. “Yeah, it’s a different, unique feeling. I can’t explain it.”
Van Ginkel suited up for the opener vs. New England on Sept. 11 and played seven snaps on defense and seven on special teams. Against Baltimore it was 17 snaps, all on special teams.
“He’s been a productive player for us in the past,” Boyer said. “I’m sure he’ll be a productive player for us this year.”
Coach Mike McDaniel said Van Ginkel “had a tremendous offseason and it’s to his credit” that he’s already back.
“That’s a guy that his teammates root for him because of what he brings on the field,” McDaniel said.
Van Ginkel is trying to look at the bright side.
“You know, I came back after about 2 1/2 weeks,” he said. “When they first told me, they said it’s probably going to be two weeks or so. So yeah, just the fact that I was on the field the first game is an accomplishment and as long as I can keep getting better each week, hopefully I’ll get more playing time.”
Buffalo Bills' secondary ailing as it faces Jaylen Waddle, Tyreek Hill
The Bills will be without several key defensive players, especially in the secondary, for Sunday's game at Miami.
Already without cornerback Tre'Davious White, who's on the physically unable to perform list with a knee injury, Buffalo listed another Pro Bowl performer, safety Micah Hyde, as out with a neck injury. Cornerback Dane Jackson also is out with a neck injury, meaning rookies Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam, who attended Benjamin, are likely to face Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
The Bills' defensive line will be without Ed Oliver (ankle) and former Dolphins tackle Jordan Phillips (hamstring). Five others, including safety Jordan Poyer (foot) are questionable.
The Dolphins will be without tight ends Cethan Carter (concussion) and Hunter Long (ankle). Left tackle Terron Armstead (toe) is questionable, as are defensive tackle Raekwon Davis (knee), cornerback Xavien Howard (groin) and receiver Cedrick Wilson (ribs, toe).
Hal Habib covers the Dolphins for The Post. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Dolphins' Andrew Van Ginkel working to regain weight, playing time