In a story that should surprise no one who watched the Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions game on Sunday, Miami left tackle Branden Albert is out for the year, according to a report from the Palm Beach Post's Andrew Abramson. While the Dolphins have not officially announced anything, Abramson's source reports the team believes Albert has torn a ligament in his right knee.
Albert is expected to have an MRI back in Miami on Monday, which will determine the full extent of his injury. Albert was blocking in the second quarter of Sunday's game when Lions, and former Dolphins, defensive tackle Andre Fluellen was knocked down and into Albert's leg. The action bent Albert's knee backwards, with him immediately collapsing to the ground and staying down. He had to be carted off the field.
There is some concern that Albert could also have fractured a bone. Miami signed Albert this offseason, their big free agent acquisition to start the process of rebuilding an offensive line that allowed 58 sacks in 2013. After being selected to his first Pro Bowl last year, Albert was backing up that performance this season. According to Pro Football Focus, he was the fourth rated offensive tackle this season.
After Albert's departure, rookie right tackle Ja'Wuan James moved to the left tackle position, with second year lineman Dallas Thomas moving from left guard to right tackle to fill in for James. Shelley Smith replaced Thomas at left guard and will likely move into the starting lineup if Daryn Colledge, who has missed the last two games with a back injury, is not able to play in Week 11.
The Dolphins could hit the free agency wire this week to try to add some depth to the offensive line, though anyone they sign would likely miss the team's Week 11 game against the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins have just four days before the Thursday night kickoff for that game.