The Miami Dolphins will have a chance to knock the hated New York Jets out of playoff contention this week, but they will have to do it without the services of LT Jake Long.
Long exited Saturday's loss against the New England Patriots in the second quarter, and ESPN.com reported that he tore his right biceps. The Dolphins have yet to comment on the injury, but with only one game left in the season, it his highly unlikely that Long will make an appearance on Sunday.
John Jerry took Long's place on Saturday, and he will probably get the start on Sunday if Long cannot play. The second-year man out of Mississippi has made two starts so far this season. He allowed one sack in relief of Long against the Patriots.
This appears to end a tumultuous season for Long. He's made the AFC Pro Bowl team in each of his first three seasons in the NFL, but that streak could come to an end this year.
Long was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list during the preseason with a knee injury, and he missed his first career start in the Week 15 Buffalo game due to a lower back injury. Long is also coming off of shoulder surgery performed after the 2010 season.
Not that his participation in Sunday's season finale makes any difference at all. With the Dolphins sitting at 5-10, they will not be playing for anything other than pride when the hated Jets come to town.
While Long would doubtless love a chance to help keep the Jets out of the playoffs, there is little sense risking further injury in a meaningless game.
He is not the only ailing Dolphin heading into the last week of the season. RB Daniel Thomas left Saturday's game with a knee injury, while CB Vontae Davis exited in the second half after hurting his elbow.
Then there is the Dolphins' fan base, which has exhibited symptoms of depression for most of the 2011 season.