Joe Philbin expects Dolphins LT Jake Long to be ready for season opener

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
Supposedly, Long will be ready to play next week. (Getty)

For a team that has an unproven rookie starting quarterback in Ryan Tannehill and a receiving corps that's looked, to put it nicely, unimpressive, it sure would help the Miami offense to have one of the league's top left tackles ready for Week 1.

And according to Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, he expects to have Jake Long playing.

You'll recall that Long -- who's been durable throughout his career, missing only two games in his four-year career -- tore his bicep at the end of last season, and though he's recovered from that, he had to be held out of practice this week with a bum knee that he hurt Monday. He worked on the sideline with a knee brace during practice since, but an MRI showed nothing serious.

"It's getting better every day," Long said, via the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "I'm doing a lot of rehab and treatment and just working to get back."

He wouldn't say whether he'd be ready for the season-opener vs. the Texans, but Philbin seemed more confident.

"Our anticipation is to have 53 healthy guys as we start to prepare for Houston," Philbin said. "Time will tell. But that's the anticipation we have."

The team, though, is keeping its sense of humor about what could be a long season -- especially if the Dolphins are preparing for a rebuilding season (that's what some observers have said, anyway, in the face of general manager Jeff Ireland trading Vontae Davis to Indianapolis for a couple draft picks).

During Long's press availability Friday, guard Richie Incognito asked out loud if Long could play receiver. My suggestion: perhaps he could be the one to pilot the team plane.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

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