EDIT: (10:20 AM EDT)
Adam Schefter has since deleted this tweet.
This leads me to believe Brandon Shell will start at right tackle — as we all had hoped — and Greg Little will start at left tackle. IF Terron Armstead cannot play. More to come.
On Friday, Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel ruled out Austin Jackson for Sunday’s game vs. the San Francisco 49ers. However, Miami’s head coach did leave the door open for Terron Armstead. Here’s what McDaniel said on Friday:
“Okay, so I’m not going to rule out (Terron) Armstead. I think we can rule out Austin (Jackson) for the game...I plan on having plans, and i plan on being prepared for everything.”
“(Armstead) has a diligent process that I’m not quite sure if he’s going to be – he’ll be out there but I’m not sure if he’s going to be out there while you guys are. Regardless, nothing will change. We’re going to see how he is and adjust on game day, but we’ll give him his time. He’s earned and deserved it.”
Unfortunately, it sounds like Miami’s head coach was hopelessly optimistic. A recent report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter suggests the Miami Dolphins are prepared to play without their Pro Bowl tackle and instead will start Greg Little and Brandon Shell at tackle for today’s matchup vs. the San Francisco 49ers.
With Miami’s RT Austin Jackson out Sunday due to an ankle injury and its LT Terron Armstead doubtful due to toe and pec injuries, the Dolphins are preparing to start Greg Little at RT and Brandon Shell at LT vs the 49ers.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 4, 2022
The most surprising part of this report — and something that feels very much like #ThatsSoDolphins — is the plan to start Greg Little at right tackle, Tua Tagovailoa’s blindside. That would mean Brandon Shell — who has looked surprisingly #solid at right tackle — would be starting at left tackle.
For those who paid attention last week, Shell looked #bad when Armstead left the game and was moved to left tackle. So, I’m hoping this was an early-morning typo by Adam Schefter — even if part of me fears this is just the Dolphins’ overthinking things. Regardless of which tackle lines up where, Miami’s offensive line will have their hands full going toe to toe with the best defense in all of football. And maybe I’m overreacting, but Nick Bosa vs. Little or Shell makes me Joe Philbin Queasy.
Shell, 30, signed with the Dolphins on September 19th. He was elevated from the practice squad for Miami’s Week 6 matchup vs. the Minnesota Vikings. Since joining Miami’s active roster, Shell has played well at right tackle, making the switch to left tackle even more head-scratching. He currently has a 59.8 overall PFF grade, which includes a 43.2 pass block grade and a 71.0 run block grade.
Little, 25, was traded to Miami on August 17th, 2021, for a 2022 seventh-round draft pick. The former first-round pick was listed behind starter Austin Jackson on the depth chart at right tackle for most of the offseason. However, little was thrust into action during Miami’s Week 3 comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens. The following week, Little was moved to left tackle for the game against the Minnesota Vikings, where he earned a 1.5 pass-blocking grade after allowing an insane 15.7% pressure rate.
If the Miami Dolphins want to start their west coast trip off on the right foot, they’ll need career games from Brandon Shell and Greg Little in Sunday’s 4:05 PM EDT matchup vs. Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, and the San Francisco 49ers’ #1 ranked defense.
What are your thoughts on Greg LIttle and Brandon Shell starting at tackle? Do you think Shell should start on the right side? Do you feel confident in Little on the left side? How does this impact today’s game vs. the San Francisco 49ers? Let us know in the comments section below!