Reporting Tim Kephart
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DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins continued to battle injury problems along the offensive line Tuesday when backup tackle Nate Garner went down with a shoulder injury.
According to Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network, sources told him that Garner, “hurt his should bad on Monday,” and that the solid backup is “out indefinitely.” If Garner is out for an extended period, or worse, it cripples the Dolphins offensive line depth.
On the bright side though, the Fins got a big gift on Wednesday when projected starting right guard John Jerry was back on the field working with the first team during a walk-thru, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero.
That doesn’t mean Jerry is ready to strap on the pads and start, but it’s a good sign that he is close to returning to the starting lineup, which is welcome news for the coaching staff.
In Jerry’s absence, the coaches had tried multiple players to fill in at right guard, but none had been able to nail down the job. The Dolphins will likely keep Jerry on a slow recovery path to make sure he’s ready for the season opener in just a few weeks.
With Garner out an undetermined amount of time, the Fins will likely scour the free agent and waiver wires looking for a tackle to fill out the roster until he can return.
While much of the fear about the Dolphins offensive line has centered on left tackle Jonathan Martin, the lack of quality depth could be the thing that is the difference between the Dolphins making a playoff run and sitting at home in January.