The Miami Dolphins have placed left tackle Jake Long on the injured reserve list, ending his 2012 season. MRI results from Monday confirmed the torn left triceps muscle for Long, meaning for the second straight season, his year ends early.
"Jake will be very missed," Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline told the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson Tuesday. "He's one of our leaders, a staple on our offensive line."
Long has not been playing to the elite level most expected from the 2008 first overall pick this season. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl every season in which he has been in the league, and currently leads all tackles in AFC Pro Bowl voting for this year.
However, his future in Miami remains in doubt. Long becomes a free agent after this season, and is expected to look for a contract making him one of the top paid offensive linemen in the league. However, with the down turn in his play, and the repeated injuries lately, including knee, shoulder, and back problems, a torn biceps muscle last year, and now the torn triceps muscle, Long could prove too costly for the Dolphins moving forward.
According to Jackson' sources, the Dolphins have not ruled out any option with Long, including using the franchise tag on him. Due to Long's salary this season, his franchise tag number would escalate to $15.4 million next year, which would be difficult for the Dolphins to commit to one player as they look to add weapons around rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Miami also waived safety Anderson Russell on Tuesday. To fill the two roster positions, the Dolphins added safety Tyrone Culver and tackle Patrick Brown. Both additions previously played for the Dolphins, with Brown playing three seasons with Miami in 2010. Brown played with the Minnesota Vikings in 2011.
Culver returns to the Dolphins after being released on September 1 as the team made waiver claims before the start of the season. Culver spent four years with the Dolphins before his release.