When healthy, Mike Pouncey is one of the league’s best offensive lineman. I say offensive lineman because Pouncey has had success at both center, and guard. As most remember, Pouncey missed the first quarter of the 2016 season, after having surgery on his hip in the offseason. Unfortunately, five games later, the hip remains an area of concern for the Dolphins.
Pouncey was held out of practice on Thursday, and it seems unlikely he will be suit up this Sunday vs Los Angeles. The Dolphins are 4-1 this season when Pouncey is healthy and in the team’s starting lineup. In his absence, the Dolphins will start Anthony Steen at center. Miami will also be without left tackle, Brandon Albert. Laremy Tunsil will shift to left tackle, with Kraig Urbik getting the start at left guard. The Rams have one of the league’s best defensive lines, and could cause problems for the Dolphins makeshift offensive line with players like Robert Quinn and Aaron Donald set to get after Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
The Dolphins, meanhwile, sent Pouncey this week to see a specialist about the hip, hoping to try to get to the cause of these repeated issues. Pouncey has had three surgeries on his hips already in his career.
“I don’t know if it’s been bothering him for a while,” head coach Adam Gase said this week. “He’s kind of one of those guys that just grinds everything out and you really don’t know anything and then yesterday he kind of pulled himself out and said he didn’t feel right. (We) pulled him out and right now we’re trying to get more information.”
Gase continued, explaining, “He ran into some issues with the hip again. (It’s the) same one and we’re going back through the evaluation, getting him with the doctors and things like that. We haven’t ruled him out for this week at all. So we’re still trying to figure out the exact details of issues and where we’re at with that. That’s kind of where we’re at with him right now.”
Pouncey, after taking himself out of practice on Wednesday, did not participate in practice on Thursday or Friday. Officially listed as doubtful for the game, Gase was asked if missing practices would mean Pouncey was unavailable against the Rams. “If he didn’t practice at all during the week and played on Sunday, I’d be alright with it,” Gase replied. “That’s where he’s at as far as a pro, where he can actually do that. In this case, obviously we still have some information to gather and try to figure out where we’re at for Sunday.”
Another surgery has not been ruled out for Pouncey.
Miami could also have to make some roster moves on Saturday if they are going to have enough depth on the offensive line for Sunday. Assuming Pouncey is unable to play, the Dolphins will have starters Tunsil, Urbik, Steen, Jermon Bushrod, and Ja’Wuan James, with Sam Young in reserve, as their only linemen without making some sort of move. The team has center Jake Brendel and tackle Terry Poole on the practice squad.