Offensive tackle shortage? Dolphins’ Terron Armstead, Austin Jackson dealing with injuries


MIAMI GARDENS — The Dolphins took a calculated risk when they entered the season with only eight offensive linemen.

Now, that depth is being tested.

Neither of the Dolphins’ starting offensive tackles from the opener practiced Wednesday and their status for Sunday’s game at Baltimore is uncertain.

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Dolphins right tackle Austin Jackson.

Dolphins right tackle Austin Jackson.

Right tackle Austin Jackson has an ankle injury and is day to day, coach Mike McDaniel said. Veteran left tackle Terron Armstead, who missed two fourth-quarter snaps with a toe injury, will be evaluated later in the week just as Jackson will be, McDaniel said.

Greg Little stepped in for Jackson and played 45 snaps against the Patriots. Robert Jones had cameo duty when Armstead was out.

Facing the physical Ravens even under the best of circumstances usually presents problems for offensive lines. Regardless of how healthy Miami’s is for Sunday, the Dolphins will be attempting to win in a stadium (M&T Bank) in which they’re 0-4 all-time.

Regarding Jackson’s injury, McDaniel said: “There has been improvement. As far as how much improvement there’ll be by game time, you’ll have to ask his ankle.”

McDaniel said the ankle isn’t broken.

“Ankles are finicky,” McDaniel said. “They’re definitely case by case. I know he’s doing everything he can to get ready.”

McDaniel said he spent a few seconds thinking about the run of injuries to the line “and then made the proper adjustments in my mind. … Injuries will always happen — sometimes multiple to a position — and as long as your coaching staff and players are prepared for contingency plans — we were even prepared for the next contingency should another player have gone down.”

Armstead, who has made three Pro Bowls, was one of the Dolphins’ top additions this offseason, signing a five-year, $75 million contract as the foundation to the line.

“Terron has in his in his career been able to fight through injuries with the best of them,” McDaniel said. “So you know that they’re going to do their best.”

Armstead has had ample practice at it, having missed an average of 5.5 games over the past six seasons. The Dolphins listed him on the injury report as missing Wednesday’s workout because of a toe injury, but he also is getting at least a day off each week for veteran’s rest.

The line allowed three sacks on Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins rushed 23 times for 65 yards, an average of 2.8 yards per carry, falling short of the ideal range McDaniel wants of 25-30 rushes per game.

“The whole idea of the offense in general is not to have a ton of yards rushing every week,” McDaniel said. “It’s to win is to have productive offense and to take advantage of what the defense is giving you.”

Connor Williams was Pro Football Focus’ top-graded center in the NFL and top-graded Dolphins offensive player from the Patriots game. Armstead was No. 2 among Dolphins offensive linemen followed by Rob Hunt, Jones, Jackson, Little and Liam Eichenberg. Guard/center Michael Deiter was the only lineman on the roster who did not play an offensive snap.

The Dolphins plan to sign veteran offensive tackle Brandon Shell to the practice squad, according to ESPN. Shell, 30, has started 61 of 70 games played for Seattle and the Jets.

Four other Dolphins did not practice Wednesday: running back Salvon Ahmed (heel) tight end Cethan Carter (concussion), linebacker Melvin Ingram (vet rest) and receiver Cedrick Wilson (toe). Limited were tight end Tanner Conner (knee) and safety Eric Rowe (pectoral). Tackle Greg Little (ankle) was a full participant in the workout.

Hal Habib covers the Dolphins for The Post. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Both starting offensive tackles for Dolphins have injury issues