Dolphins left tackle Terron Armstead called it a “grocery list” of injuries he has dealt with in his first season in Miami when he spoke to reporters Wednesday.
Those body parts he has to cross off the checklist before getting ready for any game these days: Toe, pectoral muscle, knee and hip.
After missing the regular season’s final two games due to a combination of those ailments, Armstead is trying to get to a place where he can return for Sunday’s wild-card playoff game at the Buffalo Bills.
“I’m working around the clock, trying to do everything I can,” said Armstead, who received a Good Guy Award from local media members that cover the team on Wednesday while he missed the week’s first practice session.
“For me, it’s not a pain thing. I can deal with pain. It’s the function of the muscle and things around it. If it’ll hold up and I can go, I’m going.”
Armstead, who started 13 of 17 regular-season games at left tackle, said some of the injuries this season stem from the toe ailment suffered in the Sept. 11 opener against the New England Patriots.
“The body being such a machine and too smart, at times,” he said, “you get into compensation and muscles start to shut down and affect other things. Been dealing with my right leg, really.”
He revealed Wednesday he was advised to have surgery on the bad toe to end his season but, in his first year with a new team after nine seasons with the New Orleans Saints, he opted to play through it.
“I could’ve gotten surgery Week 1 and been done,” said Armstead, who added he has his physical therapist from Dallas live with him during the season. “Against advisement, we locked in, suited up.”
To that point, he has not contemplated offseason surgery as his focus is to get ready for a playoff game in Orchard Park for a team that will already be down starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa due to the concussion protocol.
“I’m in the moment,” Armstead said. “I’m not doing any season-ending evaluations. We’re getting ready to play Sunday.”
Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel labeled Armstead as “progressing.”
“I expect him to be out there if he’s capable,” McDaniel said. “And if he’s not, he’ll make the best decision for the team. That’s just kind of how he’s built.”
Armstead is one of four Dolphins offensive linemen on the active roster that didn’t participate in Wednesday drills as the practice week commenced ahead of the team’s trip to western New York. Right tackle Brandon Shell (knee/ankle), left guard Liam Eichenberg (hand) and tackle Kendall Lamm (ankle) also missed Wednesday’s session.
Running back Raheem Mostert, who suffered a broken thumb in last Sunday’s playoff berth-clinching win over the New York Jets also missed Wednesday’s practice. McDaniel is not counting him out early in the week, despite the severity of the break.
“I’d be a fool if I was the 1,500th guy that tried to tell Raheem Mostert he couldn’t do something,” McDaniel said.
Also listed as “did not participate” on Miami’s Wednesday injury report, aside from Tagovailoa, who has already been ruled out, were outside linebackers Bradley Chubb and Melvin Ingram. Chubb was spotted during the media viewing portion of practice without a helmet walking through a light workout but not enough to warrant a limited designation on the injury report. Ingram, as usual, received his veteran rest day.
Wide receiver and punt returner Cedrick Wilson Jr. returned to practice Wednesday and was limited with hip and groin ailments that caused him to miss Week 18 against New York.
Hunt ready for tackle
Dolphins right guard Robert Hunt may need to kick out to tackle again for Miami if Shell can’t suit up Sunday.
“I may,” Hunt said before Wednesday drills. “I’ll be ready to play wherever they need me.”
Hunt, who started at right guard for the Dolphins every game of the 2022 and 2021 regular seasons, played on the outside once Shell left late in the win over the Jets with his knee and ankle injuries. Robert Jones was inserted at right guard as Hunt played tackle.
Shell has started 11 games at right tackle this season for injured starter Austin Jackson and has been serviceable in that role.
Hunt felt comfortable in the 12 snaps he took manning the right edge of the Miami offensive line Sunday.
“I was ready for it,” said Hunt, who started 11 games at right tackle as a rookie in 2020. “I came in this league as a tackle. I think I can still be a tackle. If they need me to play tackle, I’ll play.
“It’s like riding a bike, but it took me a couple of steps and a couple of plays to get in a groove.”
Jones, in addition to 12 snaps at right guard, played seven at left guard while Eichenberg exited with what was originally deemed an arm injury by the team before now being listed for a hand ailment on the Wednesday injury report.