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Shelley Smith injury: Sprained knee to sideline starting guard

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Miami Dolphins starting right guard Shelley Smith has sprained his knee and will miss 2-4 weeks.

Miami Dolphins guard Shelley Smith, here in 2012 with the St. Louis Rams, could miss 2-4 weeks after suffereing a sprained knee.
Miami Dolphins guard Shelley Smith, here in 2012 with the St. Louis Rams, could miss 2-4 weeks after suffereing a sprained knee.
USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins offensive line was a completely rebuilt unit heading into Week 1 of the 2014 season, starting five new players in an effort to better protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill. As the team moves toward Week 3 and a game against the Kansas City Chiefs, it looks like they will again be changing the starting lineup for the offensive line.

According to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson, guard Shelley Smith has a grade two sprain of his knee, forcing him to miss two-to-four weeks. Smith had to leave Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills after sustaining the injury, though it was not clear at the time what the issue was.

With Smith sidelined, the Dolphins will likely turn to Dallas Thomas at right guard. Thomas held the position throughout the offseason workout programs and training camp. In the team's second preseason game, however, he was abused by Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerlad McCoy. The team had also acquired center Samson Satele, freeing Smith to move from center to his more natural position at guard.

Miami could also look to use reserve utility lineman Nate Garner if Thomas is not able to man the position. The Dolphins are also waiting for Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey, who had offseason hip surgery, to be medically cleared to return to football activities.