Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins guard Ted Larsen gets sliver of good news related to Hurricane Irma

Miami Dolphins lineman Ted Larsen might play one more game than expected this season.
Miami Dolphins lineman Ted Larsen might play one more game than expected this season. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

Amid the Hurricane Irma saga that has offered one heaping helping of life-altering bad news after another -- including the postponing of Sunday’s NFL game between the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- I present you one sliver of silver lining to the storm’s dark clouds:

Ted Larsen.

Larsen is the Dolphins starting left guard who tore his right biceps muscle in early August and is now on injured reserve. The Dolphins have been planning to designate Larsen for return this season.

And because the NFL’s designation for return rules deal in weeks rather than games, it is possible Larsen will be able to play one more game this year than if the season had started on time for the Dolphins.

The rules state a player designated for return can begin practicing after six weeks and can begin playing after eight weeks. So Larsen accrues a week even though the Dolphins game is postponed.

Larsen still can begin practicing Oct. 16 after being on the list six weeks. He can still return to action if healthy on Nov. 5 against Oakland.

But because the Dolphins season is now moved back a week, Larsen will be eligible to play nine games instead of the eight he would have been eligible for if the season had begun this week.

The news is not good for safety T.J. McDonald.

He is suspended for eight games for violating the NFL policy on substances of abuse. And that is exactly how long he must wait before returning to the field -- eight games, rather than eight weeks.

So he is actually going to be off the field a week longer than he would have been had the Dolphins been able to open their season Sunday against Tampa Bay.

The Dolphins’ ninth game was originally supposed to be Nov. 5 against the Raiders. But the team’s ninth game of the season will now in fact be on Nov. 13 against the Carolina Panthers.

So McDonald will still be able to play eight games, but obviously his season is going to start later because Miami’s games begin a week later than expected.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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