The Miami Dolphins will be without starting right tackle Austin Jackson for at least four more weeks. But they’re not standing pat on the offensive line.
Rather, they’re bringing the biggest free agent name still available: Former No. 1 pick Eric Fisher. ESPN first reported the two pieces of news.
Miami Dolphins Sign Eric Fisher
Jackson didn’t play in Sunday’s 33-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers due to an ankle injury. By placing him on injured reserve Monday, the Dolphins are signaling they don’t expect him back before Week 18 — if even then.
Jackson has already had one stint on IR this season and got hurt again in his first game back. Jackson — the projected starting right tackle for the Dolphins this season — has been on the field for just 11% of the team’s offensive snaps in 2022.
Veteran Brandon Shell has gotten the lion’s share of Jackson’s reps since. He started on the right side and Greg Little on the left in place of Terron Armstead against the Niners Sunday.
The tandem struggled to stop Nick Bosa, who had three sacks, four quarterback hits, and forced a fumble. The barrage of pressure had an impact on Miami’s QB. Tua Tagovailoa suffered a minor ankle injury and was pulled from the game once it was out of hand.
So the Dolphins certainly need the help.
It’s unclear how much Fisher can provide — at least in the short term. He hasn’t played in 11 months. Fisher appeared in 132 games — starting all but four — in his first nine NFL seasons. He spent all but one of those with the Kansas City Chiefs before joining the Colts in 2021.
Fisher suffered a torn Achilles tendon in his final game with the Chiefs (during the 2020 playoffs) and wasn’t the same player following the recovery. He allowed 41 pressures and seven sacks for the Colts last year, committing six penalties.
The Colts did not bring him back for a second season, and Fisher was determined to wait for the right opportunity before signing with a new club. That opportunity has arrived with a playoff team that needs significant help on the offensive line.
The Dolphins’ next two games are against Joey Bosa’s Los Angeles Chargers and the dangerous Buffalo Bills — both on the road.
Fisher, a Central Michigan product, in 2013 became the first MAC player taken No. 1 in the NFL draft. He would go on to win a Super Bowl and make two Pro Bowls during his eight years in Kansas City.
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