Dolphins left tackle Terron Armstead was a limited participant in practice Thursday but said he is trying to play through his pectoral strain against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night.
In his first comments since sustaining the injury against the Houston Texans on Nov. 27, Armstead said it occurred on a “fairly routine” play trying to block a pass rusher. Armstead said he “felt a rip” as he fell to the ground toward the end of the second quarter.
“I didn’t have any power on my left side, I couldn’t lift my arm,” he said. “It wasn’t a situation where I can go tape up or try to come back out.”
Armstead did not play in the Dolphins’ loss to the San Francisco 49ers but head coach Mike McDaniel said the veteran lineman was close to suiting up.
“I feel better than I did last week,” said Armstead, who added he’s working to build strength in his pec and stay out of positions that may worsen the injury.
It’s the latest ailment for Armstead, who has been playing with a lingering toe injury he sustained in Week 1. Armstead said it remains something he will have to deal with all season.
“It’s just getting it to a manageable area and we’re rolling,” he said.
Other injury updates
Tyreek Hill was the sole Dolphin who did not practice Thursday. The veteran wide receiver was sidelined because of an illness.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was limited for the second consecutive day because of an ankle injury. McDaniel said he anticipates Tagovailoa will play against the Chargers.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (knee), wide receiver River Cracraft (calf), safety Eric Rowe (back), tight end Durham Smythe (quad/knee) and defensive lineman Justin Zimmer (hip) were also limited.
Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (fibula) and defensive tackle Raekwon Davis (knee) were upgraded from limited to full participants.
Outside linebacker Melvin Ingram, who received a veteran rest day Wednesday, returned to practice and was a full participant.
Fisher getting up to speed
It’s been about 11 months since Eric Fisher last played in an NFL game as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. But the veteran offensive tackle feels comfortable joining the Dolphins in the midst of their playoff push and he’s working to learn the playbook should the team need him against the Chargers.
“I’d love to play this week,” he said in his first comments to local reporters since signing with Miami on Monday. “I want to contribute. I think we’re sitting in a great spot here. Obviously there’s a lot on the line in these last five weeks, and this is go time. I’ve been very fortunate to make a lot of playoff runs, so I kind of know what it takes. If I can contribute, I’m ready to roll.”
Fisher said he continued to work out at home and stay prepared in case a team called with an opportunity that fits. He found that with the Dolphins, who signed him amid injuries along the offensive line.
“It just seems like everything is going right here,” said Fisher, who turns 32 next month.
Fisher acknowledged he is still working his way into football shape. With the Dolphins’ injury concerns, they could need him to provide depth as a reserve against the Chargers.
“He has such a wealth of experience, [he is] a playoff, battle-tested lineman,” said offensive coordinator Frank Smith, who added the biggest adjustment for Fisher is learning the team’s techniques and fundamentals.
Fisher, who has mainly played left tackle but also has experience at right tackle, said whenever he’s ready to play, the Dolphins’ offense is a “perfect offense for my abilities.”
“I pride myself on working my butt off to be a very athletic tackle,” he said. “So, I think it lines up well with what I’m able to do.”
This and that
▪ Tight ends coach Jon Embree said Mike Gesicki’s career-low nine offensive snaps against the 49ers was the result of match-up-based decisions. Durham Smythe played 27 snaps, his second-lowest workload this season.
“We had what we call ‘20’ personnel with no tight ends,” Embree said, “and that was a good personnel matchup for us against those because of some things we could dictate defensively. ... That’s just how the game plan is. There are going to be game plans where they’re going to both get more [opportunities] and Trent Sherfield’s not going to get as many reps or Alec [Ingold]. We’re going to do whatever we have to do to try to win, and it just worked out this past week that that personnel group gave us some [opportunities] and that’s where we went.”