Jake Long out for remainder of season, what’s next for him and the Dolphins?

The Miami Dolphins’ worst fears became reality today, when they officially placed Jake Long on injured reserve, ending his 2012 season.  In Sunday’s game against the Patriots, Long injured his triceps muscle and was forced to leave the game.  After conducting tests the Dolphins medical staff determined that Long tore his triceps muscle.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

This news is unfortunate for the Dolphins, who have had enough trouble protecting rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill.  However, Jonathan Martin, the Dolphins 2nd round pick from April, filled in admirably after Long left Sunday’s game.  For the rest of this season, Martin will take over at left tackle and Nate Garner is presumed to be the Dolphins new right tackle.  After placing Jake Long on the injured reserve list, the Dolphins signed OT Patrick Brown.

It will be a good 4 game test for Martin for a number of reasons.  Most notably, Jake Long is a free agent after this season and will likely cost a lot of cash (and cap room) to re-sign.  If Martin can hold his own against the ferocious pass rushers of the 49ers this week, the Dolphins might feel less pressure to re-sign Long.  Long has dealt with injuries the last few years and it’s fair to say that he is not as dominating as he was when he entered the league.

If Martin can play well over the next 4 weeks, the Dolphins might have to think long and hard about who their LT will be in 2013.  Martin has been adjusting to playing right tackle this season, after playing left tackle for his entire life.  He’s had his good moments and his bad moments.  For Ryan Tannehill’s sake, we can only hope his familiarity with the left side allows him to flourish.

On a personal note, I like Jake Long and wish him the best of luck and a fast recovery.  I hope there is a fair deal that both he and the Dolphins can come to this offseason.  Get well soon Jake!

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