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Laremy Tunsil injury ‘hurting bad’ but ready ‘to help the team any way’

The Miami Dolphins have a banged up offensive line, but they are not ready to give up.

Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins have been battling through injuries all season, especially along the offensive line. Center Mike Pouncey, left tackle Branden Albert, and left guard Laremy Tunsil have all missed time in recent weeks due to various injuries. Pouncey’s hip likely keeps him out of the game this weekend, as he continues to not be able to practice due to the injury.

On Thursday, Albert, who returned last week against the Baltimore Ravens after missing two weeks with a dislocated and surgically repaired wrist, was upgraded from a limited practice capability on Wednesday to a full participant on Thursday. Meanwhile, Tunsil is not listed on the injury report this week after returning against the Ravens from one missed game due to a shoulder injury. Both players had braces on their respective injuries against the Ravens.

Tunsil’s injury may not warrant being on the injury report any more, but it does not mean he is 100 percent. He was flagged three times during the game, after having only been flagged two other times in the season.

Albert has been mentoring Tunsil all season, realizing that the future of the left tackle position for the Dolphins is Tunsil, Miami’s first-round draft-pick this offseason. According to the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Schad, Albert told Tunsil last week, “Even at 60 percent (healthy), you’re one of the best talents in the league.”

Schad add that Albert spoke about Tunsil on Thursday as well, “He did a good job fighting through his injury. That shows what he has in him. The (scouting) combine can’t measure that. It’s something he’s learning. It’s something I learned.”

Tunsil, overhearing Albert speaking about him, called out from his locker, smiling, “I’m hurting, B!”

The Palm Beach Post’s Hal Habib spoke to Tunsil on Thursday, with the rookie lineman saying basically the same thing. “I mean, I’m hurting,” Tunsil explained. “I’m hurting bad, but you know I’m going to fight through it. I’m going to give it all I’ve got. At the end of the day, I’m here to help the team any way I can.”

Tunsil added, “It’s very demanding and it’s a very long season, coming off a college season where the season actually ends last week. And the people who come in here, like the rookies, are not used to that. It’s something you’ve got to adjust to, quick.” He also pointed to the fact that, at this time last year, his regular season was over and he had three weeks of rest and preparation before playing with Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl. “Man, it sounds good right now,” Tunsil said of the idea of three weeks of rest right now. “Sounds real good to me.”

Instead, the Dolphins are fighting for their Playoff lives with four regular season games to go. “We’re trying to win games,” Tunsil said of the team’s focus and how he can fit in with the shoulder pain. “We’re trying to get to the playoff spot, so whatever I can do, I’m going to help.”

“A ton of respect for those guys,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said on Wednesday when asked about the performances of Albert and Tunsil this past weekend. “I think it’s a tough sport, tough game, and guys have the opportunities to either play tough and play through pain or try to sit out an extra week until they’re healthy. Both those guys really stepped up big, especially ‘B.A.’ (Branden Albert) coming off a surgery. He wanted to be out there so bad. Talking with him, it was really important for him to be out there. (I have a) ton of a respect (for him) and I’m glad he was with us.”

The Dolphins will be looking to both Albert and Tunsil to continue to lock down the left side of the offensive line this week as they both play through pain to try to give the team the best chance to win.

Dolphins Week 14 (vs. Arizona Cardinals) Thursday Injury Report:

Isa Abdul-Quddus, safety -Neck - Limited (Wednesday, Thursday)

Branden Albert, tackle - Wrist - Limited (Wednesday); Full (Thursday)

Kiko Alonso, linebacker - Hand/Hamstring - Did not practice (Wednesday, Thursday)

Kenyan Drake, running back - Knee - Limited (Wednesday, Thursday)

Xavien Howard, cornerback - Knee - Limited (Wednesday, Thursday)

Jelani Jenkins, linebacker - Knee/Hand - Did not practice (Wednesday, Thursday)

Jarvis Landry, wide receiver - Non-Injury - Did not practice (Wednesday); Full (Thursday)

Earl Mitchell, defensive tackle - Back - Limited (Wednesday, Thursday)

DeVante Parker, wide receiver - Back - Limited (Wednesday, Thursday)

Spencer Paysinger, linebacker - Ankle - Full (Wednesday, Thursday)

Mike Pouncey, center - Hip - Did not practice (Wednesday, Thursday)

Anthony Steen, center - Shoulder/Foot - Full (Wednesday, Thursday)

Kraig Urbik, guard - Knee - Limited (Wednesday, Thursday)

Mario Williams, defensive end - Ankle - Limited (Wednesday); Did no practice (Thursday)

Cardinals Week 14 (at Miami Dolphins) Thursday Injury Report:

Justin Bethel, cornerback - Foot/Knee - Limited (Wednesday, Thursday)

John Brown, wide receiver - Illness - Did not practice (Wednesday); Limited (Thursday)

Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver - Non-Injury - Did not practice (Wednesday); Full (Thursday)

Markus Golden, linebacker - Hamstring - Did not practice (Wednesday, Thursday)

Tyrann Mathieu, safety - Hamstring - Did not practice (Wednesday, Thursday)

Robert Nkemdiche, defensive tackle - Elbow - Limited (Wednesday); Did not practice (Thursday)

Carson Palmer, quarterback - Non-Injury - Did not practice (Wednesday); Full (Thursday)

Corey Peters, defensive tackle - Foot - Limited (Wednesday); Full (Thursday)

Patrick Peterson, cornerback - Knee - Limited (Wednesday); Full (Thursday)

Frostee Rucker, defensive tackle - Non-Injury - Did not practice (Wednesday); Full (Thursday)

Tharold Simon, cornerback - Ankle - Did not practice (Wednesday, Thursday)