With injuries to Terron Armstead, Austin Jackson, Miami Dolphins have big concerns at tackle

The composition on the Miami Dolphins' offensive line on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens is a mystery with Terron Armstead and Austin Jackson injured.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins were without their top two offensive tackles at practice Wednesday — an ominous development with the blitz-happy Baltimore Ravens on deck. Left tackle Terron Armstead (toe) and right tackle Austin Jackson (ankle) were both missing during the portion of practice open to reporters Wednesday.

Miami Dolphins injury update: Armstead, Jackson miss practice

An important caveat at the top: there are four days left until kickoff, and these players could still improve. Jackson already has after leaving Sunday’s opener against the Patriots in the first half and not returning. Plus the Dolphins also listed Armstead as a rest day, suggesting that he could have practiced (perhaps on a limited basis).

“There has been improvement,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said of Armstead during his Wednesday news conference. “As far as how much improvement there’ll be by game time, you’d have to ask his ankle.

“It’s one of those issues that is definitely day by day,” McDaniel added “He’s doing everything he can to get ready.”

Jackson missing practice was no surprise, considering his lower leg got rolled on. Armstead, meanwhile, was, considering he returned to action after missing just two snaps due to a seemingly minor ailment.

But when asked directly if Armstead would play this week, McDaniel wouldn’t commit:

“All of our guys are really working diligently to try to make it,” McDaniel said. “I know Terron has in his career has been able to fight through injuries with the best of them. So you know that they’re going to do their best. And we’ll obviously make the best decision later in the week on who gives us the best chance to win, counting in all those issues with injuries and, and you know, what it kind of looks like.”

If Armstead cannot go, it’ll mark the 10th time in as many seasons he didn’t play an entire season. He missed nine games due to a knee injury in 2021.

Still, it would be foolish to rule him out at this point. Jackson, meanwhile, seems far less likely to go. Luckily for the Dolphins, his backup — Greg Little — was back at practice after missing a series with an injury of his own Sunday.

But if Armstead and Jackson cannot go, the Dolphins will have some real worries. Liam Eichenberg would presumably slide out to left tackle, where he filled in when Armstead was hurt on Sunday. Robert Jones would fill in at left guard in that scenario.

Some hard truths: That combination of blockers will look a lot like the group that finished last in pass-rush win rate (with 247 pressures allowed) in 2021.

“That’s not the first rep I’ve had at that,” McDaniel said of his wild Sunday when three different Dolphins linemen played multiple positions.

“I try to take advantage of all the opportunities I’ve had to being involved in a gameday operating process. It was obviously not ideal, but you just go back to, that’s not the first time it’s happened to you. You adjust, you communicate. I spent probably three seconds thinking about it, and then made the proper adjustments in my mind for what you do in those situations. 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 get hurt. That’s the nature of the business, although not ideal, no one cares after the game, how hard it was for you.”

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