DAVIE - The Miami Dolphins begin preparation for the Sept. 9 season-opener against Houston without two of the team's nine offensive linemen.
Jake Long, a Pro Bowl left tackle, and John Jerry, the top reserve guard, sat out Monday's practice, but participated in their rehab session.
Long sprained the MCL in his right knee last week and missed the preseason finale.
Jerry played well into the fourth-quarter of last week's loss to Dallas and it appears he suffered an injury the team hasn't disclosed. However, Jerry had his right ankle heavily taped.
Fortunately for the Dolphins Artis Hicks, the projected starting right guard, returned from the neck injury he suffered two weeks ago.
It is possible that Long will play against Houston, but in the meantime Miami's coaches are exploring possible replacements.
Nate Garner, who is beginning his fifth season with the Dolphins, plays every position on the offensive line, but struggled at left tackle in last season's loss to the Eagles.
Will Yeatman, a former tight end the Dolphins converted to tackle this training camp, is the only backup tackle on the 53-man roster. But it is unrealistic to think he's ready to man the starting left tackle spot, which typically puts an offensive lineman against a defense's best pass rusher.
Jerry replaced Long as Miami's starting left tackle for the final three games of 2011, and played well. But he won't be an option if he's not healthy.
Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett, the Dolphins' starting middle and weakside linebackers, participated in Monday's practice. Their level of participation is unknown.
Both linebackers, who each tallied more than 100 tackles last season, missed most of the exhibition season nursing injuries.
Dansby has been limited by a sore right knee, and Burnett sat out all four exhibition games because of a back issue....
Dolphins quarterback David Garrard attended Monday's practice and wore a compression sleeve on his surgically repaired left knee. Garrard's participation was limited....
What's your number?
New Dolphins receiver Anthony Armstrong, who was claimed off the waiver wire on Saturday, will wear No. 87. Safety Troy Nolan will wear No. 23, cornerback RJ Stanford was assigned No. 25, and linebacker Sammy Brown was given No. 52.
New cornerback D'Andre Presley, who was put on Miami's practice squad, will wear No. 21.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times