PHILADELPHIA -- The Miami Dolphins are down to their third-string plan for the starting left guard spot.
That is the situation because coach Adam Gase said Monday that Kraig Urbik, who had missed the last week with a back problem, now has a knee injury that will likely force him to miss the regular-season opener, and possibly longer. Urbik, however, is not expected to be out the entire season, a league source told The Miami Herald.
Urbik, who started at center much of last season, was expected to play the left guard spot following the loss of starting left guard Ted Larsen, who is out for at least half the season to a biceps injury.
In the meantime, the Dolphins will conduct what amounts to a competition for a wide open starting spot.
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Anthony Steen, Jesse Davis and Jake Brendel took snaps with the starting offense on Monday as the Dolphins worked a dual practice with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Gase was asked during his press conference if the team would consider bringing back recently retired Branden Albert. The coach said that name had not come up in conversations between himself and the personnel department.
Albert played guard his first year in the NFL before moving to his more familiar left tackle spot. He was traded from the Dolphins to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the offseason and later cut by the Jaguars.
This preseason the Dolphins have lost starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, starting middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan, cornerback Tony Lippett, and receiver Isaiah Ford for the season.
The Dolphins’ newest member of their traveling party was recently signed linebacker middle linebacker Rey Maualuga. He did not practice Monday and is not playing in Thursday’s game against the Eagles, per Gase.
But Maualuga is working on getting into football shape even as his teammates are working against the Eagles.
“I’ve obviously been away from football for a couple of months,” Maualuga said. “But I was very familiar with the scheme from coach [Matt] Burke and what he does. So just to come in and step in right away would be a lot easier than to learning something from scratch.”
Maualuga will vie for the starting middle linebacker spot but not yet. So what will fans see when he gets on the field?
“My strengths are coming downhill and taking on the blocks and stopping the run,” he said. “Leading by example. I’m going to come in and do that and show what I can do on the field. I think everyone will follow and I think we’ll be that much better on defense.”
Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero