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Zach Sterup to start at LT on Sunday

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NFL: New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

In November, the Miami Dolphins signed Zach Sterup, the former Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, and Kansas City Chiefs practice squad member. Since joining Miami, Sterup has appeared in five games, primarily working as a sixth offensive lineman on specific plays. On Sunday, he will get his first career start, according to his agent.

Starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil was listed as doubtful for the team’s game against the Buffalo Bills, with Sterup the most obvious answer to fill that role. Tunsil’s ankle issue continues a season of injuries to the offensive line, with starting right tackle Ja’Wuan James, starting right guard Jermon Bushrod, and reserve guard/center Anthony Steen all on injured reserve, as well as starting left guard Ted Larsen spending the first half of the season on injured reserve before being activated. The only starting offensive lineman for the Dolphins to play all 16 games this year will be center Mike Pouncey, who has not started every game in a season since 2012.

“I think that’s the only guy we’ve got left,” Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said on Friday when asked if Sterup would be the next man up if Tunsil was unable to play.

He was also asked what has impressed him about Sterup since the former Nebraska Cornhusker joined the team. Gase replied, “I think his length. I don’t think I’ve been around a guy that tall and long. Just talking to some of the defensive linemen, especially when we first got him, I remember William Hayes coming up to me and telling me, ‘He’s got a really good punch. He’s hard to get around.’ We felt good, especially early, and he has kept learning about everything that’s going on. When he has been up, we’ve had those bigger packages to try to get him involved slowly. He has just been working, taking quite a few reps in practice.”

Sterup is 6-foot-9, 318 pounds.

The Dolphins will host the Bills at 4:25pm ET Sunday. The Bills need to win the game to have a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999.