Miami Dolphins concerned RT Ja’Wuan James could be out long term

Right tackle Ja’Wuan James could be out more than just this week. (AP)

DAVIE—The injury that forced Dolphins right tackle Ja’Wuan James out of Sunday’s game against the Raiders could jeopardize his season.

The team is continuing to assess what was initially listed as a hamstring injury in his left leg, and coach Adam Gase says they are looking for a secondary medical opinion. He added that it’s unclear whether the issue is in his hamstring, as opposed to another nearby body part. Trainers appeared to be checking his knee on the field.

James was nowhere near able to practice today, and it remains “a possibility” that he will be out well beyond Monday’s game at Carolina.

“I just don’t know,” Gase said. “I don’t have all the information… He’s getting some second opinions and things like that to make sure whatever we decide to do this year, whether it’s long term or short term—We just need to figure all that out.”

If James is out, the Dolphins will consider several options to replace him. Veteran tackle Sam Young filled in for him against Oakland, but with Ted Larsen returning at left guard it’s possible Jesse Davis could move from there to right tackle.

James, now in his fourth season, has been hit and miss according to Gase. However, Pro Football Focus ranks him the 10th-best tackle (right or left) in the NFL this season.

“I think Ja’Wuan’s had some really good games, then he’s had some games where I’m sure he would say he wished he played a little better,” Gase said. “I think that’s been the story of the first half of our season: inconsistent across the board with everybody on offense. (Mike) Pouncey’s the only one I can say every game I’m seeing the same things that are good.”

When pressed as to whether James is at least playing better than last season, Gase said, “I think he’s had some games that were head and shoulders better than any games he had last year. There was probably about three games that were really, really outstanding.”

James is playing the fourth season of his rookie contract after Miami drafted him No. 19 overall in 2014. The team exercised his option for next year in May, and he is set to make $9.3 million next season.

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