Just when the Dolphins fanbase was finally getting used to the idea of Dallas Thomas playing at left guard, reports came out that due to the concussion suffered by tackle Jason Fox, it was more than likely that Thomas would wind up getting some snaps at left tackle, and practice reports confirmed this suspicion.
It didn't take long for all hell to break loose.
There was already a very vocal outcry that the Dolphins franchise quarterback shouldn't even sniff the field for this game, mainly with the reasoning that if Tannehill happened to get injured, the season would be over. This line of thinking seems to border on paranoid, but nevertheless it does have its merits.
That particular line of thinking was multiplied tenfold when it was revealed that Dallas Thomas was the likely candidate to take over for the injured Fox against the Atlanta Falcons, and immediately the fanbase - in essence - called for Matt Moore to be the proverbial sacrificial lamb and let him play with the ones instead of Tannehill.
Again, the concerns regarding Thomas at tackle are valid ones. The former third round pick has had major struggles when lined up at tackle, to the point where he was graded by PFF as one of the worst offensive linemen in all of football last season.
Despite these concerns however, head coach Joe Philbin has insisted that he will consider all possibilities when looking to see who will play left tackle during Saturday's game.
“We’ve got a couple of options, we’re going to practice tomorrow, tomorrow’s not just a day where we walk-through things, we’ve got a little bit of a practice and we’ll get a better feel," Philbin said. "but a lot guys obviously have played tackle, Ja’Wuan James has played tackle, Dallas Thomas has played tackle in NFL games, (Jeff) Linkenbach has played tackle in NFL games and we’ve (Aundrey) Walker and (Donald) Hawkins have played left tackle. We’ve got a number of guys that that we’ll take a look at and we’ll see how everybody is, talk to the medical people and go from there.”
The most likely option at this point is indeed Thomas, who has made improvements to his game since being locked in at left guard. Now that he's being switched back to tackle, there's fear that those improvements will go down the drain.
"It can be, if you let it." Thomas said when asked if making the switch would be disruptive from a team standpoint. "If you look at it like 'aww man I've been doing so good, now I gotta go out here', you can't be like that. You're a team, you gotta do what's best for the team, whatever happens you gotta keep pushing no matter what."
Thomas has not done nearly as well at tackle as he has at guard according to reports, but it's clear that Thomas is determined to prove himself, and who knows? Maybe he'll surprise us again.
“He’s a good athlete. I think back, one of the things that intrigued us when we watched his college film was his position flexibility." Joe Philbin said. "He’s a guy that moves well enough, he’s athletic, he gets out of his stance pretty well and we think he’s had a good camp.”
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater
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