Of­fen­sive line likely to play with in­juries in Green Bay

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - SPORTS - By Safid Deen

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.”

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