The Miami Dolphins officially ruled left tackle Terron Armstead out ahead of their game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Armstead, who entered doubtful with a pectoral strain and toe injury that has lingered since Miami’s opener, was among the Dolphins inactives announced 90 minutes before the 4:05 p.m. kickoff at Levi’s Stadium.
The Dolphins will rely on a starting tackle combination of Brandon Shell and Greg Little after right tackle Austin Jackson was already ruled out on Friday with an ankle injury.
The tackle play is at the forefront of the matchup with San Francisco, as the Dolphins face off against star pass rusher Nick Bosa — with his 11 ½ sacks entering Sunday — and the 49ers’ top-ranked defense.
Shell is likely to start at right tackle with Little on the left side, given that each has more of their career experience at those respective positions.
Shell has also appeared more comfortable when he has filled in at right tackle than when he has played left. Each has been forced into action at both positions this season.
“Imagine if you’re right-handed and you go and write with your left hand,” Shell explained as to the difference he feels earlier this week. “You don’t feel too good. You can do it, but you don’t feel too good.”
“Wherever coach needs me and when he needs me, I need to be ready,” said Little this week, adding he was more confident on his left tackle play entering the season but now feels his play on the right side has pulled even with experience gained there this year.
Little got four starts at right tackle from Weeks 2 through 5 this season when Jackson initially went down with a high-ankle sprain. Following Armstead’s toe injury that caused him to miss the Oct. 16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Shell started at right tackle with Little at left after, when Armstead initially exited the Oct. 9 game at the New York Jets, Shell entered on the left side.
When Armstead returned for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 23, Shell held on as starting right tackle until Jackson’s return last week against the Houston Texans, filling in well.
As both Armstead and Jackson started together for the first time since Week 1 against Houston, Armstead first went out right before halftime with the chest ailment while Jackson made his exit in the fourth quarter, aggravating the ankle injury he just returned from.
Armstead’s absence immediately spelled trouble for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who was sacked four times between the end of the first half and his two drives in the third quarter before the Dolphins sat him with a 30-6 lead in hand.
The 49ers have wide receiver Deebo Samuel (quadriceps) and left tackle Trent Williams (back) after the two entered questionable.
The 49ers defense is also getting defensive tackle Arik Armstead back for the first time since Week 4.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and running back Myles Gaskin were also ruled out for Miami ahead of the game after each entered Sunday questionable.
Healthy Dolphins inactives were cornerback Noah Igbinoghene, wide receiver Erik Ezukanma and tight end Hunter Long.
To help with offensive line depth, the Dolphins elevated linemen Kenall Lamm and James Empey from the practice squad to the game-day roster on Saturday.
This story will be updated.