As The Offensive Line Turns
C Mike Pouncey
C Mike Pouncey
@apoupartFins
Posted Aug 14, 2013


The mixing and matching along the Dolphins offensive line seems to have stopped when it comes to the first unit, but the right guard spot continues to be a revolving door of sorts. The latest change came on Wednesday when John Jerry returned to practice for the first time in three weeks on the same day Nate Garner missed his first session of the summer.

NFL.com's Jeff Darlington reported that Garner sustained a significant shoulder injury on Monday and would be out indefinitely.

Just the day before, Coach Joe Philbin had said Garner was "a contender right now" for the starting right guard after taking first-team snaps at that spot in a practice that featured no team drills.

When the teams did team drills on Wednesday, it was Josh Samuda lining up at right guard for the first-team offense.

While Jerry did practice on Wednesday, his work was limited to individual and position drills. Jerry also left practice to go inside the team's facility midway through the proceedings.

At the very least, his return to the practice field, however limited, was a step in the right direction.

“It’s good to see John Jerry back out there," said fellow guard Richie Incognito. "He’s been on vacation. He’s been hanging out in the air conditioning, sucking down Gatorade and relaxing while the rest of us have been working. But it’s good to have him back out here. It’s good to see him healthy and moving around.”

No doubt, it will be interesting to see how much Jerry can do at practice on Thursday, the last day of training camp.

One would expect that Jerry will be taking first-team snaps once he's deemed ready to go and he clearly has to be viewed as the front-runner to start on opening day, which makes sense considering he started all of last season.

Lance Louis, who was expected to make a push for the starting job after joining the team as a free agent in the offseason. Louis continues to try to work his back from a knee injury he sustained while playing for the Bears last November and he took snaps with the second-team offense on Wednesday.

Should Garner be out for an extended period of time, it clearly hurts the Dolphins offensive line because of his ability to line up pretty anywhere except for left tackle.

The Dolphins have been looking to develop versatility up front this summer, with Incognito, Mike Pouncey, Samuda, Dallas Thomas, Will Yeatman among those who have gotten reps at different spots up front.

Pouncey and Incognito, though, have stayed put the last couple of weeks, lining up at their normal spots of center and left guard, respectively.

Tackles Jonathan Martin on the left and Tyson Clabo on the right haven't moved around at all.

While the Dolphins still need to determine which offensive linemen will make their 53-man roster, the offensive line now is down to figuring out the starting right guard. Jerry's return to practice Wednesday started to answer that question.


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