Miami Dolphins Week 11 Injury Report: Robert Hunt, Robert Jones Leave Miami Weak on the Interior

The Miami Dolphins are in first place in the AFC East and are looking to stay ahead in a Week 11 game with the Las Vegas Raiders -- who's set to play for Miami?

The Miami Dolphins are coming out of the team’s Week 10 bye ready for the stretch run of the season, but that doesn’t mean the team is emerging entirely healthy. The Dolphins have been battling injuries to key players all season long, with stars like Terron Armstead, Jalen Ramsey, and Xavien Howard all missing multiple games.

The aforementioned trio is back on the field, and the team is anticipating the return of several more key pieces. But the offensive line, a unit that was finally coming together for Miami this year, is still several men down, as guards Robert Hunt and Robert Jones are both set to miss a Week 11 matchup with the suddenly feisty Las Vegas Raiders.

Miami Dolphins Still Playing Musical Chairs on the Offensive Line in Week 11

Miami’s stud right guard, Hunt, has been a prime example of consistency and reliability since the team took him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He appeared in 50 of 50 possible games over the first three seasons of his career, starting all but five, before missing his first contest in Week 9 — Miami’s across-the-pond loss to the Kansas City Chiefs — with a hamstring injury.

MORE: Are Miami Dolphins in on Free Agent DT Akiem Hicks?

Despite the fact that Hunt failed to log any practice time this week, the fact that he hasn’t been placed on injured reserve is a positive sign that the team hopes he’ll be available either next week or in Week 12.

On Hunt’s recovery, head coach Mike McDaniel noted on Friday, “[Hunt will] be out for this game. It’s not that it’s that far away; it’s more that I think it’d be pretty risky this week. So we’re going to keep working, but he’s doing a good job. He hasn’t had a setback.”

In Hunt’s stead, the Dolphins are expected to play Liam Eichenberg at right guard. Eichenberg, who has played just about every position on the offensive line, told reporters earlier this week that he has a higher level of comfort playing on the right side of the line.

McDaniel praised Eichenberg’s versatility, telling reporters, “Liam Eichenberg holds the crown of versatility. The thing that really opened our eyes was the residuals of him playing center at other positions on the offensive line.

“There’s a certain amount of ownership that the center position takes when you’re not a quarterback — Mike points when he’s making all the calls, but also, you have to know the assignments. You kind of get an extra window of the vulnerabilities of a play if you kind of get (and) understand if you’re in a combination block as a center, trailing the guard, what you need from the guard,” McDaniel explained.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins are still without the team’s starting left guard, Isaiah Wynn (quad), who remains on injured reserve. The go-to backup at the position, Robert Jones, failed to practice all week due to a knee injury and is also out for Sunday, leaving Miami with Lester Cotton as the next man up.

Altogether, the likely starting five for Miami against the Raiders will be LT Armstead, LG Cotton, C Connor Williams, RG Hunt, and RT Austin Jackson.

The Dolphins offensive line has just one player who has played every game this season, and it’s ironically a player who has spent the majority of his young career struggling to stay healthy: the much-improved RT Jackson.

On Friday, McDaniel was practically gushing about his enthusiasm for Jackson’s improvement this season. Many pundits and fans had labeled the 2020 first-round pick a bust after he underwhelmed both in his performance and availability through his first three seasons, but he’s been a steady presence on Tua Tagovailoa’s blind side in Year 4.

“The daily commitment, the relentlessness, the intent, the coachability of Austin, and then I think it’s so cool that the world tried to beat Austin down and tell him he was something,” McDaniel began.

“A lot of people don’t have the mental fortitude to withstand narratives, which is why he’s doing an abnormal thing because he’s 24 years old, got in this league before he could drink alcohol, and has been the focal point of many people’s conversations and opinions … It’s a very, very hard thing to do, but admirable and very, very enjoyable for me to watch.”

In positive injury news, breakout rookie RB De’Von Achane is expected back following his stint on injured reserve with a knee injury. McDaniel said on Friday that he’s “very optimistic” about Achane’s return, though the explosive ball carrier is officially listed as questionable.

Also listed as questionable are WR Braxton Berrios (hamstring), TE Durham Smythe (ankle), and FB Alec Ingold (foot). All three offensive weapons missed Wednesday’s practice before returning later in the week, indicating that the team is managing their reps to keep them as fresh as possible heading into the most important run of the season.

MORE: Miami Dolphins Depth Chart

Meanwhile, WR Chase Claypool underwent a minor knee procedure over the bye week and is out on Sunday. McDaniel said that he expects Claypool to be week-to-week.

The Raiders have no players listed as out for Sunday, though OT Kolton Miller (shoulder), G Dylan Parham (calf), and S Roderic Teamer (hamstring) are questionable.

Miami Dolphins vs. Las Vegas Raiders Week 11 Injury Report

Miami Dolphins

Out

  • G Robert Jones (knee)
  • G Robert Hunt (hamstring)
  • WR Chase Claypool (knee)

Questionable

  • RB De’Von Achane (knee)
  • WR Braxton Berrios (hamstring)
  • TE Durham Smythe (ankle)
  • FB Alec Ingold (foot)

Las Vegas Raiders

Questionable

  • OT Kolton Miller (shoulder)
  • G Dylan Parham (calf)
  • S Roderic Teamer (hamstring)

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