Tyson Clabo will get one last opportunity to make a favorable impression on the Miami Dolphins' coaches, teammates and fans.
Because Jonathan Martin has been sidelined all week Clabo, the player he replaced as Miami's starting right tackle last week, will return to his starting role in Thursday night's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Clabo and new starting left tackle Bryant McKinnie will be manning the edges of the Dolphins' struggling offensive line, which has allowed 32 sacks in seven games.
Clabo has allowed eight of those sacks in his six starts for the Dolphins. The nine-year veteran has started 107 NFL games since joining the league in 2004.
Not helping matters if the fact Dion Sims, the Dolphins' best blocking tight end, is also listed as doubtful for Thursday night's game.
Sims has been sidelined by a toe injury he suffered in Sunday's 27-17 loss to the Patriots. His absence means Charles Clay and Michael Egnew are the only other available tight ends on Miami's 53-man roster. But the problem is both Clay and Egnew have been used more in a H-back/fullback role than on the line of scrimmage as a blocker.
Neither have proven they are adaquate blockers.
It is possible the Dolphins could promote tight end Kyle Miller up from the practice squad. Miller spent most of last season on the Dolphins' 53-man roster, and has been on the practice squad since traininng camp.
It is also possible that offensive tackle Will Yeatman, a converted tight end, might return to the position he began his NFL career at, filling in for Sims in Miami's max protection package. Yeatman, a former tight end and lacrosse star at Maryland, has played tight end since his rookie season in 2011.
The Dolphins have on available roster spot because of Brandon Gibson's season-ending knee injury, and it might go to Miller or practice squad receiver Ryan Spadola, who has been with the Dolphins for three weeks. Because of Gibson's injury the Dolphins presently have just three receivers - Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Rishard Matthews - on the 53-man roster. However, return specialist Marcus Thigpen has filled in as a receiver at times. And Egnew can also fill the receiver void.
No matter how you slice the injuries and illness it appears the Dolphins will face a few roster challenges against the Bengals, who will play Miami without starting cornerback Leon Hall, who was placed on injured reserve this week because of an Achilles injury, and starting linebacker Rey Maualuga, who is sidelined by a concussion, and a knee injury.
Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry (groin), slot receiver Mohamed Sanu (shoulder), offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth (knee), tailback Rex Burkhead (hamstring) and linebacker Mike Boley (hamstring) are also listed as questionable for Thursday night's game.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun