Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel is ready to rule out one offensive tackle for Sunday’s game at the San Francisco 49ers but not the other.
McDaniel said right tackle Austin Jackson won’t play, but he is leaving open the possibility of three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead playing through his pectoral strain at Levi’s Stadium.
McDaniel plans on having Armstead participate on a limited basis in the team’s Friday afternoon drills before the team flies out to the Bay Area in the evening.
“He has a diligent process,” said McDaniel after Armstead missed Wednesday and Thursday sessions. “We’re going to see how he is and adjust on game day, but we’ll give him his time. He’s earned it.”
Armstead, who has been playing through a toe injury since the opener, left last Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans late in the first half with the chest ailment.
The status of Miami’s tackles is vital this week as the Dolphins face the 49ers’ top-ranked defense and star pass rusher Nick Bosa’s 11 1/2 sacks.
With Jackson out due to his aggravation of the right ankle suffered late in the Houston game, the Dolphins will likely reinsert Brandon Shell back into the lineup at right tackle, where he filled in admirably for several weeks of Jackson’s initial absence from the high-ankle sprain suffered in Week 1 against the Patriots.
Should Armstead also get held out in Santa Clara, Greg Little should see time at the other tackle position. In the snaps where both were in against the Texans, Little played on the left side and Shell on the right, where he has said he is far more comfortable.
McDaniel has been pleased with the contributions of each as both backup tackles have seen significant playing time this season.
“It is a tough task to play tackle in this league, and I think it’s a credit to them how they’ve played,” McDaniel said. “They’ve just really done their best to keep the offense moving forward, and have been huge contributors.”
McDaniel also continues to monitor backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s availability after he missed the last two games.
The Dolphins coach said cornerback Byron Jones, who remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list, won’t travel with the team to the West Coast.
This story will be updated.