Miami Dolphins

Dolphins’ Ja’Wuan James upset by benching, but understands why it happened

Ja’Wuan James (70) must do a better job protecting Ryan Tannehill (in red).
Ja’Wuan James (70) must do a better job protecting Ryan Tannehill (in red). MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Ja’Wuan James said Tuesday that “of course I’m upset” over his benching late in Sunday’s win over Cleveland, but added he respects his coaches’ decision.

James won’t have to stay upset long. He’ll have his job back Thursday night in Cincinnati.

“James is still our starting right tackle,” offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said Tuesday. “He’s a good player, he’s a good athlete. The thing everyone wants out of him is for him to establish himself as an elite right tackle, be a leader. We are dying for guys who will be owners in this thing.”

Adam Gase benched James after the lineman allowed a strip sack late in regulation Sunday deep in Dolphins territory. The turnover set up what would have been a game-winning field goal, but Cody Parkey missed it as time expired.

Billy Turner replaced James in overtime and was on the field when Jay Ajayi ran 11 yards for the game-ending touchdown.

Dolphins told told James “that's what they thought was best at the time. That the whole game wasn't overall bad, but you had two big plays that were. I respect [Gase’s] decision. He holds everybody accountable and that's a good thing. I hold myself to a high standard too.”

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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