Dolphins left tackle Terron Armstead sustained an apparent right leg injury during joint practice with the Texans on Thursday morning and was taken off on a cart.
The injury occurred on the first play of 11-on-11 drills. After a run by Raheem Mostert along the side of Armstead, he fell to the ground and was hobbled as he got back to his feet.
Armstead limped to the sideline and sat on a table underneath a tent, taking off his jersey, shoulder pads and right shoe. He spent several minutes on the table, at one point speaking with general manager Chris Grier, and then made his way onto a cart. Armstead didn’t put any weight on his right leg while stepping onto the cart.
About an hour after Armstead left practice on a cart, he posted a video on social media of himself walking inside the Texans’ facility.
“Thanks for the love and support!” he wrote.
Thanks for the love and support! always! pic.twitter.com/dhthJaH2dO
— T. Stead (@T_Armstead72) August 17, 2023
Armstead was later seen using crutches to get onto the back of a cart, where he was taken to the Dolphins’ belongings. He told NFL Network, “I’ll be good,” and is expected to get an MRI to determine the severity of his injury.
“Terron is a huge part of this team,” wide receiver Tyreek Hill said after practice. “I feel like he’s more important than I am because the left side, we need someone to really hold that side down. Just to see him go down, which I think is not serious — I’m sure he’ll shake back, he’ll be straight. As soon as it happened I went up to him and said ‘You straight?’ and he said, ‘I’m straight man, I’m just old.’”
Armstead, 32, spent the first six days of training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list because of an offseason knee procedure. Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel called it “clean-up work,” and it is not clear which knee underwent the procedure.
Armstead’s participation in the first month of camp has been very limited, with just a few team drill snaps, if any, each practice.
Armstead told reporters Wednesday that he was still working his way back into form for the regular season, which opens on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 10.
“I’m still getting ready,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’m fully ready yet for the regular season, but we don’t have a game yet. Still working through that process. Trying to get more reps to get more game-ready and get my body feeling optimal. Just get it as good as possible to go out and play some ball.”
A four-time Pro Bowler, Armstead signed a five-year, $75 million deal with the Dolphins in the 2021 offseason as Miami sought to revamp its offense with the arrival of McDaniel. In his first season in Miami, Armstead helped improve the Dolphins’ offensive line, but he dealt with myriad injuries, most notably to his toe, knee, pec and hip.
He missed four games but was also sidelined from others because of his ailments. He told reporters in January that he was advised to get season-ending foot surgery after injuring his toe in the 2022 season opener but played through it. He has never played every game in a season and said it remains a top goal of his.
Armstead’s latest injury scare puts into focus one of the Dolphins’ most indispensable players at a position where the Dolphins don’t have a clear — and reliable — backup option.
According to Sharp Football Analysis, Armstead ranked fourth among left tackles with a 3.4 percent pressure rate allowed in 2022. In the four games he missed, his fill-ins allowed a 13.4 percent pressure rate.
Armstead, who did not play in the preseason last year, was not expected to see the field for this season’s exhibition slate. However, his injury puts into question his availability for the season opener. The next time McDaniel will address the media is after the team’s preseason game against the Texans on Saturday.
Kendall Lamm is the Dolphins’ most experienced option at left tackle if Armstead is sidelined and appeared to have the inside track to be Miami’s top reserve tackle before the injury. He’s started 29 games, including one for the Dolphins last season, and has appeared in 87 games in his eight-year career.
Isaiah Wynn, who is competing for a starting spot at left guard, also has experience at left tackle. Wynn started 33 games at left tackle for the New England Patriots before moving to right tackle last season. Austin Jackson, who is expected to start the season at right tackle, also has experience playing at left tackle.
“I don’t even know who the third, fourth tackle are right now,” McDaniel said before practice on Thursday, “and that’s a good thing because the score’s not settled. However, I do know that play will be up to the standard that I’ve been used to over my NFL career of what you have to have as an NFL caliber player at that position.”