Dolphins Center Mike Pouncey (illness) out Vs. Chargers

11/17/13 in NFL   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

FanIQ | Sports Rumors, Gossip, Blogs, News & Discussion ForumsThe hits keep on coming for the Miami Dolphins offensive line, which will be without three of its starters up front, when the team hosts the San Diego Chargers for Sunday’s game at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins are already without Jonathan Martin (away from the team) and Richie Incognito (suspended). Then, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported hours before the game that center Mike Pouncey is not expected to play, despite earlier reports that he will be healthy enough to take the field Sunday.
Pouncey missed Friday’s practice due to an illness that was severe enough to send him off to hospital. According to reports, Pouncey was dealing with kidney and gallbladder issues that required immediate medical attention.
Injuries, suspensions and players leaving the team has decimated the Dolphins offensive line, so that there are numerous holes to be filled. Top reserve lineman Will Yeatman suffered a season-ending ACL injury earlier this week.
Under such circumstances it even more difficult to figure out who exactly will replace Pouncey at center. The Dolphins are so desperate to restore depth across the defensive line that the team promoted center Sam Brenner from the practice squad this weekend.
One likely scenario includes sliding Nate Garner over to center, which will open an opportunity for the Dolphins to use reserve guards Dallas Thomas and Danny Watkins for the first time this season. Or the Dolphins could simply move Brenner to Pouncey's position at center.
Either way, Ryan Tannehill can’t be too happy this news, as despite the Dolphins’ struggles this season Pouncey still ranks as the center in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. The Dolphins’ porous offensive line has been largely unable to protect their quarterback or give him enough time to let deeper routes to develop.  Tannehill has already been sacked 37 times, which is even higher than his 2012 total of 35 sacks, with seven games to go this season. The second-year quarterback will have to focus on getting rid of the football quicker and more accurate if he intends to lead the Dolphins to a win today.
The Dolphins have lost five of their past six games, but a win today could still possibly keep them in the run for the playoffs, despite the turmoil the team has been through in recent weeks. The team is 4-5, and currently third in the division, following a 3-0 start this season.
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