Offensive line likely to play with injuries in Green Bay
DAVIE — The Miami Dolphins, hoping to neutralize Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers by keeping their offense on the field, will have a difficult time executing their game plan with hobbled offensive line starters in Sunday’s game at Green Bay.
Starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil and starting right tackle Ja’Wuan James, who practiced this week despite knee injuries, will be game-time decisions against the Packers in Lambeau Field at 4:25 p.m.
Starting left guard Ted Larsen, on the other hand, is doubtful to play due to a neck injury.
The Dolphins could rely on a number of backup linemen to fill the voids in their last game before a crucial bye week.
“If you got a pulse, you’re in the mix,” Gase said of his offensive line. “We’re out of guys.”
Larsen was already a limited participant in practice this week, before he spent Friday’s practice doing individual work on the sidelines. It’s the second straight week Larsen has been listed with the neck injury, but Gase said Larsen needs some time to get back to full strength.
“He struggled the last couple of weeks, and we didn’t do much with him this week,” Gase said of Larsen.
“He’s probably going to be doubtful for the game. We got to get him some rest and get him recovered.”
Tunsil (left knee) and James (right knee) both suffered their injuries during the Jets game, but have been limited participants in Dolphins practice this week.
If Tunsil or James cannot play against the Packers, the Dolphins will depend on backup tackles Zach Sterup and Sam Young to bolster the offensive line.
“The fact we had them out there [Friday] is always good, but it’s going to go up to the game,” Gase said of Tunsil and James.
With Larsen seemingly out, backup centers Jake Brendel and Wesley Johnson would assume Larsen’s position at left guard.
Brendel was re-assigned to the Dolphins roster last week after spending the first eight weeks of the season on injured reserve due to a calf injury. He has spent time in practice at the left guard, center and right guard positions this week.
Brendel, who attended several Green Bay games when he lived in Madison, Wisc., is excited for the opportunity to play at Lambeau Field if he gets the opportunity.
“It’s a pretty cool stadium experience. It’s definitely a feel there that’s you don’t get at a lot of places,” Brendel said of the Packers’ stadium.
“The fans in Green Bay, the fans are born Green Bay fans, and they’re going to die Green Bay fans. It’s not really entertainment for them. It’s part of their family.”
Johnson, a former center with the Jets, says he is comfortable playing at guard. He has played in limited action at left guard for Larsen this season.
The Dolphins promoted second-year guard Isaac Asiata from the practice squad to bolster depth.
The Dolphins have already played most of this season without center Daniel Kilgore (triceps) and guard Josh Sitton (shoulder) due to injuries.
“It seems to be the year of injuries,” starting right guard Jesse Davis said. “Everybody is just kinda dropping, and that’s how the game goes.”