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Outside linebacker Chase Allen (59) of the Miami Dolphins gets to wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie (84) of the Denver Broncos to cause a fumble for a safety during a kick in the fourth quarter as the Broncos visit the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., Dec. 3, 2017.
Joe Amon, The Denver Post
Outside linebacker Chase Allen (59) of the Miami Dolphins gets to wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie (84) of the Denver Broncos to cause a fumble for a safety during a kick in the fourth quarter as the Broncos visit the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., Dec. 3, 2017.
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Isaiah McKenzie got a second shot as the punt returner for the Broncos on Sunday. It didn’t go well.

The rookie fifth-round pick, who lost his job after muffing a punt that was recovered by the Patriots last month — his second such play of the season — returned to the role against the Dolphins after being inactive the previous two weeks. The Broncos had turned to Jordan Taylor, who played the position without incident, in games against the Bengals and Raiders.

McKenzie’s performance had been nondescript (three fair catches) until late in the fourth quarter. He compounded the cardinal sin of catching a punt at the 2-yard line by losing the ball. Miami linebacker Chase Allen dislodged it from his hands. McKenzie could do little but dive on the ball in the end zone for a safety, the second of the game surrendered by the Broncos.

The mistake by McKenzie was hardly the only problem for Denver’s maligned special teams. The Broncos had a punt blocked and gave up an average of 15.3 yards on four punt returns by Miami’s Jakeem Grant. Miami also recovered an onside kick.

“That’s what we expect from our special teams,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said. “We’ve invested a lot of time, we’ve invested our resources into that area, and we want to be dominant at special teams.”

Injury update. The Broncos held their collective breath in the first half Sunday when all-pro linebacker Von Miller had to be attended to by trainers as he lay on the field. The trainers appeared to stretch out Miller’s legs, and he soon returned to the game. Miller said afterward he was suffering from cramps.

Broncos running back Devontae Booker, suffering from the flu-like bug that has infected a number of Denver players, was unable to return to the game after halftime.

The Broncos arrived in Miami depleted on both sides of the ball, thanks to injuries and an illness. Starting nose tackle Domata Peko (knee), defensive end Derek Wolfe (neck) and right guard Ron Leary (back) were all ruled out Friday, along with quarterback Paxton Lynch (ankle), who was injured in his lone start this season. Joining them on the inactive list Sunday were tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, rookie running back De’Angelo Henderson and Taylor.

Footnotes. Sunday was the 100th regular-season game of Von Miller’s career. … Former Broncos tight end Julius Thomas was one of three Dolphins players who took a knee during the national anthem Sunday. Safety Michael Thomas and wide receiver Kenny Stills were the others. … With his interception Sunday, Denver cornerback Chris Harris joined Richard Sherman and Glover Quin as the only players with multiple interceptions in each of the last six seasons. … Justin Simmons returned an interception in the third quarter 65 yards for a touchdown, giving Denver 13 defensive scores since 2015, including playoff games. That ties Kansas City for the most in the NFL in that span.

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