As if Miami’s offense needed any other added pressure Sunday, the Dolphins offensive line might be operating without one of its starters.
Guard Daryn Colledge was listed Friday as “questionable” for Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers at Sun Life Stadium. He sat out practice all week with migraines and a sinus infection; on Thursday and Friday he was also listed as having a back injury.
Despite Colledge’s “questionable” status, coach Joe Philbin usually doesn’t start players who haven’t worked during the week.
Philbin was also absent from practice Thursday and Friday because he was dealing with a family matter, but defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle expects him to return shortly.
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Colledge has been struggling with his health since the Dolphins’ game last week Jacksonville, which he left early with a migraine after allowing two sacks in three series.
Left tackle Branden Albert spoke Thursday as if he expected Colledge to miss Sunday’s game.
“It is weird, because you can’t tell when somebody’s going through pain like that,” Albert said. “You can tell something wasn’t right with him during the [Jacksonville] game, because it just wasn’t him. He hasn’t missed a game in so many years. I know it’s hard for him, I know he wants to be out there.”
For Colledge, missing Sunday’s game would end the guard’s 135 consecutive game streak, the second longest active streak for offensive guards in the league.
For Colledge’s backup Dallas Thomas and the rest of the Dolphins’ offensive line, Colledge’s absence means the pressure is on.
After an unsatisfactory victory against Jacksonville on Sunday, frustration among Dolphins players reached a boiling point during the week.
There’s no question Miami’s offense is under the gun to produce early and often against the Chargers — who currently sit second in the AFC West — and the offensive line has to clean up its protection.
Of the Dolphins’ 17 sacks allowed this season, seven have come in the past two games. Now Miami might be missing a starter on the line of scrimmage, and Thomas has to be prepared to jump in and help right the ship.
Thomas’s most memorable start for Miami was during the preseason, when Tampa Bay’s Gerald McCoy repeatedly overpowered the second-year pro.
It was the kind of performance Albert chalked up to Thomas’ youth at the time, but the young lineman has seen action in the regular season since then, and Albert has changed his tune.
“I’ve been in these situations in my career, playing next to the young guy, playing with a guy that’s a backup, and [Thomas] is very talented,” Albert said. “It’s not like you’re playing with a guy where you’re like, ‘Oh, can he do it?’ He can do it.
“We all just have to make sure we’re on the same page, that [Thomas] knows what he’s doing, and communication is going to have to be at an all-time high this week.”
Center Samon Satele said everyone on the Dolphins’ offensive line, new and old, is going to have to get back to basics Sunday.
He said the upswing in allowed sacks is correctable; players just need to refocus on technique and communication.
“Everybody’s got to do their job,” Satele said. “I feel like some guys are doing a little bit too much more than what they have to do. Once we start doing our own jobs and working our technique, like finishing our guy or blocking our guy period, the sack numbers will go down.”
▪ Linebacker Koa Misi (ankle) was also listed Friday as questionable, and tight end Dion Sims (toe) was ruled out.