The Miami Dolphins are four days away from their first game of the NFL's 2012 regular season, heading to Houston on Sunday to face the Texans. The team got good news today, as the two biggest injury question marks still hanging over the team, tackle Jake Long and guard John Jerry, returned to practice today, taking their respective places along with starting offensive line.
The offensive line for the Dolphins has been rattled over the last few weeks, with Long injuring his knee last week in practice, Jerry rolling his ankle during the preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys, and tackle-turned-guard Artis Hicks being forced onto the injured reserve list after suffering a neck injury in the team's first preseason game.
Long returns to his normal left tackle position. Long, a four time Pro Bowl selection, is the key to any success the Dolphins offensive line will have this year. With Long missing time over the past week, to include being held out of the Cowboys game, the team had scrambled to find someone to replace him. Rookie right tackle Jonathan Martin, who played left tackle all through college, was the most likely to fill in for Long, but it would also stunt his development as an NFL right tackle.
Jerry, who has actually played decently as a left tackle in the past, was another possibility, until he was injured. Jerry will now slide into the starting right guard position following Hicks being placed on IR.
The starting offensive line against the Texans will have Long at left tackle, Richie Incognito at left guard, Mike Pouncey at center, Jerry at right guard, and Martin at right tackle. In reserve, the Dolphins have utility lineman Nate Garner, center/guard Josh Samuda, tight-end-turned-tackle Will Yeatman, and the recently re-signed tackle Ray Feinga.