Miami Dolphins to start Dallas Thomas at left tackle
By Brian Miller
Dallas Thomas has had two pretty good pre-season games for the Miami Dolphins this year. The Dolphins will need him to have a third. With replacement left tackle Jason Fox likely to sit out this weeks game against the Atlanta Falcons, Thomas is slated to start at left tackle.
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With Ryan Tannehill scheduled to participate this week in the teams third exhibition game, Thomas will be the one who will be protecting Tannehill’s blind side. This is not good news if you have followed the career of Thomas thus far. While Thomas has shown improvement through two weeks, it is enough to perhaps sacrifice your starting quarterback?
Branden Albert returned to full practice this week after tearing his ACL last year. He is however not expected to participate this weekend which puts Jason Fox in the starting role. However Fox was injured last Saturday and has not returned to practice. Enter Thomas.
With Thomas lining up on the left side, the Dolphins will use Jamil Douglas at left guard. The rookie has had some growing pains thus far but the Dolphins are confident his abilities. Even as a rookie. The right guard spot is also an issue as Billy Turner has been inconsistent and it was reported earlier today by the Miami Herald that internally the Dolphins are not too thrilled with Turner’s progress.
If Turner can’t do the job the Dolphins will look to Thomas again on the right but that is a concern as well. He has played well at guard this pre-season but it’s hard not to reflect back upon the last two seasons where Thomas has been a human turnstile. Should the Dolphins start the season with Ja’Wuan James, Dallas Thomas, Mike Pouncey, Jamil Douglas, and Branden Albert along the line of scrimmage there will be big concerns from both the media and the fans.
Despite successful drives by the Dolphins first team offense, the running game hasn’t been very good early on and Ryan Tannehill has been under a lot of pressure. This is not what the Dolphins need heading into the season.
The Herald also reported that the Dolphins had interest in guard Evan Mathis but were told they were not willing to pay as much as Denver did. A one year deal worth around $4 million.
The Dolphins will likely peruse the free agent wire as cuts begin to be made and this week could be the catalyst to them finding a replacement or maybe even two for their guards. That being said, should the Dolphins first team offense be in sync against the Falcons, Miami may opt to sit with what they have and allow the unit to gel.
For now however the eyes of every fan will be on the left tackle position and Ryan Tannehill’s health. Should the Dolphins play him this week? Yes and no. I will say this, if it appears that the line is struggling early, the team needs to be ready to pull Tannehill out of the meaningless game and save him for the start of the season.