Dolphins safety Reshad Jones, who will serve a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing substances, knew there was a possible problem with his drug test before the suspension was announced Friday.

"They notified me probably a couple of weeks prior to it coming out [Friday], so I was aware of it," Jones said after the Dolphins' 16-10 loss at Atlanta in the preseason opener.

Jones chose not to appeal the ruling.

"I thought about it," he said, "but there wasn't no need to [appeal]."

Coach Joe Philbin said he spoke with Jones about the suspension and expressed disappointment in Jones.

"The NFL has strict policies and if you don't adhere to those policies you have to pay the consequences," Philbin said.

The Dolphins will be without Jones and defensive end Dion Jordan, who is also serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances, for the first month of the season.

"It's tough," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said.

"Any time you lose guys, especially guys of that caliber it's tough on the team. But it's part of it. It's something you never want to have to happen but if it happens be it through injury or suspension, it can happen a lot of different ways."

After Friday's game Jones, who will likely be replaced by safety Jimmy Wilson in the starting lineup, reiterated the apology in his team-issued statement before the game.

"I take full responsibility for my actions," Jones said. "It's just a situation that occurred. Like I said in my statement, I apologize to [owner] Stephen Ross, the Dolphins organization, my family and everybody. I'm going to do everything in my power to come back and help this team win some ballgames."

Rushing offense, defense remain question marks

The Dolphins, who were 26th in rushing offense and 24th in rushing defense last season, got no definitive answers about their rushing offense or rushing defense Friday.

Offensively, the Dolphins had 21 carries for 52 yards. Starting running back Lamar Miller had four carries for 11 yards, which isn't enough work to make a determination on whether he's improved from last season.

Expect veteran running back Knowshon Moreno, activated from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list last week, to get more action in practice this week. At this point it appears Moreno and Miller will be the workhorse backs in the offense.

Undrafted rookie Damien Williams, who was having a good training camp, sustained what appeared to be a right leg injury during Friday's game. There's no word on his status.

Defensively, the Dolphins' linebackers seemed to miss some tackles despite Atlanta rushing for just 64 yards on 32 carries.

Running back Devonta Freeman, the rookie from Florida State, rushed for 50 yards on 10 carries. Running backs Jacquizz Rodgers (seven carries, 20 yards, one touchdown), who had three 4-yard runs and a 7-yard run, and Antone Smith (three carries, 5 yards) both had success in spots.

Smith had a 76-yard touchdown run called back due to a holding penalty. Smith also had a 34-yard catch and run called back due to an illegal formation penalty.

Wishful thinking

The first-team offense was without wide receivers Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline, tight end Charles Clay and Moreno on Friday due to various ailments, yet it still did pretty well in the first quarter, driving 73 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown.

And they should only get better.

"I'd like to think when we have our best guys in there that's when we'll be at our best," Tannehill said.

"And I think we've seen that at practice. When all those guys were [at] practice, aside from Knowshon, we've had some really good practices, been able to stretch the field vertically and laterally with those guys, so I'm excited to hopefully [be] getting them back on the practice field soon."