DAVIE—Jesse Davis has worked all over the offensive line for the Dolphins this year, but he’s about to find a semi-permanent home.
With Ted Larsen coming back at left guard and the team possibly going without right tackle Ja’Wuan James for an extended time, Davis has moved from guard to James’ spot. While he certainly seems to be the most capable option, the fact that he’s moved around so much has made it difficult for him to perfect any particularly role.
“I wish we had a couple of JV games here first before we go play on Monday Night Football, that we could slip him into the JV game tomorrow afternoon and let him get a little experience before the varsity game, but we can’t,” offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said. “That’s the deal.”
Davis, a 26-year-old who is in his first NFL season on a 53-man roster, began the year rotating at left guard with Anthony Steen. He started the last two games after Steen was lost to a season-ending injury and jumped in at left tackle against the Jets when Laremy Tunsil was injured.
Other than left guard, the offensive line has enjoyed far more stability than it had last year—until now. The Dolphins started the same left tackle (Tunsil), center (Mike Pouncey), right guard (Jermon Bushrod) and right tackle (James) every week.
Davis impressed the team starting in January and worked his way into contention for a starting job by the middle of August. Christensen said confidence is “high” in him filling in for James, who is still getting further medical evaluations on what the team is calling a hamstring injury.
“Skillset-wise, he’s a big, long guy,” Christensen said of Davis, who is 6-foot-6, 321 pounds. “I do think he’s suited to play tackle. I do think his skillset, as far as being versatile and having played a ton of positions… is probably going to be to his advantage.
Carolina’s defensive line has been one of the best in the NFL this season. The Panthers are No. 2 against the run, allowing 78.4 yards per game, and are second in the league with 29 sacks.
Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers has 7.5 sacks in nine games, and Mario Addison has 6.5.
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