Nate Garner was the Dolphins’ starting right guard du jour Sunday, the latest sign the team is still grappling with the injury-wracked position.
Josh Samuda started the Jaguars preseason game and proceeded to surrender a sack on the second play from scrimmage.
Garner replaced him later in the quarter, and on Sunday, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman explained why: Samuda suffered some sort of hand injury. It apparently wasn’t too serious, however, as Samuda was back at practice Sunday.
They’re all getting a chance to start in place of John Jerry, who has been out since the first week of training camp with a knee injury. Still, Sherman declined to sound the alarm.
“I don’t feel like we’re behind because we’re really only a week into training camp when you consider we had the extra week,” Sherman said. “It’s never what you want it to be at this stage.”
Lance Louis will be an option at the position, if he can ever get fully healthy. The long recovery from a torn ACL has kept him out of the first two preseason games, but Louis is doing more in practice every week.
“It responded pretty good,” Louis said. “It’s not swelling. It’s just me working at it, knowing it’s going to be sore, and just working through it.”
Other Sherman takeaways from his weekly press availability:
• The Dolphins plan to run a versatile offense this year, Sherman said, with the run-pass ratio changing based on how defenses scheme them.
“I think the identity is that we can run it when we have to run it, and we can throw it when we have to throw it,” Sherman said. “I don’t think you can typecast to say we’re this or we’re that.”
• The running back competition is “pretty close,” Sherman said, praising Daniel Thomas for how he played against the Jaguars.
• Sherman has seen great improvement from the tight ends in camp, particularly from Dion Sims who is “light years” ahead of where he was in rookie minicamp.
• The Dolphins have shown about 40 percent of their offense through two preseason games, and will unveil about 60 percent of it before the exhibition season is out.
This and That
• Rookie Dion Jordan, who played just a handful of snaps in Friday night’s game, dressed for practice Sunday, but he didn’t participate beyond warm-ups. Dolphins coach Joe Philbin declined to say why when asked Sunday.
• Wide receiver Rishard Matthews returned to practice after missing the previous two weeks with an undisclosed injury.
“I thought he looked good,” Philbin said.
• Defensive tackle Randy Starks (knee) was not present for any part of Sunday’s practice. Tight end Kyle Miller (undisclosed) and safety Keelan Johnson (undisclosed) dressed but spent most of practice working with trainers. Johnson was wearing a compression sleeve on his left leg.
• Fewer than 10,000 seats remain for the Dolphins’ home opener (Sept. 22 vs. Atlanta). Kids’ tickets are available from $15.
• It was a strange practice Sunday, in that the Dolphins ran no team or seven-on-seven drills during the entire two-hour session. Philbin said the day’s emphasis was on fundamentals.