The Miami Dolphins are gearing up for their Week 1 matchup with the New England Patriots on Sunday at Gillette Stadium, but they will -- at the very least -- be starting those preparations without two key members of the offense. On Monday, the team announced that it has placed starting left tackle Austin Jackson and tight end Adam Shaheen on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Naturally, the possibility of being without your left tackle for the Week 1 opener isn't the most ideal of situations for second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Jackson -- a first-round pick in 2020 -- is also looking to bounce back from a so-so rookie campaign last season. The 22-year-old played in 13 games (12 starts) for the Dolphins in 2020 and ranked 75th among tackles for the year, according to Pro Football Focus.
If Jackson is unable to clear protocol and play this weekend in Foxborough, that could thrust fellow tackle Greg Little -- who was acquired by the team back in August in a deal with the Carolina Panthers -- into the starting spot.
As for Shaheen, who is making his second trip to the COVID reserve list, Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reports that he landed on the list this time due to a positive test. Because he is unvaccinated, he will miss the next 10 days under the NFL-NFLPA protocols and will miss Sunday's opener against the Patriots. Shaheen has openly talked about his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Per Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post, he is on record saying, "(The NFL is) not going to strong-arm me into doing something for more freedom…"
Shaheen played all 16 games (five starts) for the Dolphins in 2020 and caught 12 of his 22 targets for 150 yards and three touchdowns.
In a corresponding move to placing Jackson and Shaheen on the COVID list, Miami elevated cornerback Jamal Perry as a COVID-19 replacement.
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