Miami (6-3) started the week with 12 players on the injury report and tight end Hunter Long (Concussion Protocol/Illness) is the only player listed as out for Sunday. However, tackle Terron Armstead (Toe/Calf), quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (Knee), tight end Tanner Connor (Knee), and Austin Jackson (Ankle/Calf), who hasn’t played since Week 1, are listed as questionable.
“I’ve seen Austin progress his way back. I see Austin as our starting right tackle,” coach Mike McDaniel said on Friday. “However, just because I’m annoying, we’ll play him at whatever position best serves us at the given moment to win the game. And we will not compromise his progress for the long haul to put him out there before we feel as confident as we possibly can that he won’t regress. We’ll always look to think in terms of what gives us the best chance to win.
“Certainly, the play of B-Shell (Brandon Shell) lends us the opportunity to utilize him in other positions because his play has been so strong. But I still without a shadow of doubt, haven’t strayed away at all from my feelings of Austin being the starting right tackle because of what he showed me coming back, as he progresses, getting back, showing things, showing improvement in detail and execution of certain things from when he was in the group before he got hurt. So nothing’s changed with that. He’ll be back there when it’s ready. And we’ll adjust him if it’s the best thing for the team, which there’s a lot of variables involved with that.”
Miami’s offensive line is sixth in the league with 1.9 sacks surrendered per game. That number has improved to 0.7 sacks per game over the team’s three-game winning streak. Cleveland (3-5) is getting to the quarterback for 2.4 sacks per game, which ranks No. 17 in the NFL.