Clyde Christensen on Wednesday broke down how the Dolphins’ offensive line would look if Jermon Bushrod does not play Sunday in New England (as looks increasingly likely):
Jesse Davis would take Bushrod’s spot at right guard and Sam Young would start at right tackle.
What Christensen was not asked:
How would the line look if Bushrod and Laremy Tunsil cannot play?
What reporters did not know at the time: Tunsil, like Bushrod, was not at practice Wednesday.
Tunsil is sick. And while there is no reason to believe he will not be better by Sunday for the Patriots game, the team was decidedly shorthanded during their most important day of preparation.
With Bushrod (foot injury) and Tunsil missing and right tackle Ja’Wuan James out for the year, just two projected starting offensive linemen were present for Wednesday’s practice: Mike Pouncey and Ted Larsen.
While the Dolphins will never admit that their season is basically over, with six games to play, the injuries could provide a silver lining. They have a chance to evaluate young players like Davis and potentially Jake Brendel if their highest-priced veterans cannot play. There is a chance that neither James nor Bushrod is on the team next year, and it is never too early to scout out their potential long-term replacements.
Granted, there are better places to do that than Gillette Stadium, where the Dolphins have not won since 2008.
How about on defense? The Dolphins have issues there, too.
Linebacker Stephone Anthony (knee) and defensive end William Hayes (undisclosed) were both missing during the portion of practice open to reporters Wednesday.
The Dolphins did fortify that side of the ball Wednesday, however, promoting linebacker Neville Hewitt to the active roster from the practice squad. De’Veon Smith, cut Monday, was back on the Dolphins’ taxi squad Wednesday.