Bess wouldn’t answer questions about his availability for Sunday, saying only that he speaks with team doctors every morning to discuss his progress.
“It ate me up,” Bess said of missing a game for the first time in his career. “I can’t even explain it. Just a really weird feeling that I don’t ever want to get used to.”
The Dolphins’ revamped offensive line, strangely enough, seems like the least of their worries.
With Jonathan Martin at left tackle and Nate Garner at right last week, the Dolphins had their fourth-best running game of the season (180 yards) and allowed just one sack.
“Anytime you play with new linemen … it takes a while for everybody to get a feel for each other,” Bills coach Chan Gailey said. “Continuity and communication in that area is probably the most vital of all the groups in football. They have to be on the same page. Them needing to play together is one way to solve any issues they might have.”
Of course, if any of the starting five would get hurt over the last two weeks, the Dolphins would really be in trouble. Little-used reserves Will Yeatman and Josh Samuda would be the next men up.
• At running back, not a whole lot changes with Thomas’ injury. Reggie Bush will continue to get the lion’s share of the carries, and Lamar Miller had already all but supplanted Thomas as the team’s No. 2 option.
That move up the depth chart can now be made in ink. Miller has gotten just 36 carries this year, but his 4.6-yard-per rush average is the team’s best.
The Dolphins do need to decide on who will be their goal-line back, which was probably Thomas’ biggest contribution this year. Philbin wouldn’t tip his hand on who that might be, but fullback Jorvorskie Lane could be a possibility.