Miami Dolphins OT Zach Sterup could be on brink of first NFL start

Zach Sterup (right) in his days at Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

DAVIE — There are plenty of good reasons for Dolphins offensive tackle Zach Sterup to say he’s loving Miami.

For starters, he might start Sunday’s finale against the Buffalo Bills. Sterup said he saw time with the first team in Thursday’s practice. Regular left tackle Laremy Tunsil was out with an ankle injury. And given that the game has no playoff implications for the Dolphins, it’s a good opportunity to test younger players.

Sterup, the tallest Dolphin at 6-feet-9, has played five games in his NFL career, all with Miami, but Sunday would be his first start. He has worked with the starters in practice before without starting, so there’s no guarantee what his role will be Sunday.

A second good reason Sterup is enjoying South Florida is it means he’s not back home in Nebraska in December.

“I saw a couple of my friends’ Snapchats and it was 2 degrees there this morning when they woke up,” Sterup said Thursday. “And I think it’s chilly and it’s 70 here.”

Sterup probably never thought he’d say such a thing, having grown up in Nebraska and having attended the University of Nebraska. But then again, he probably never expected to have a Christmas like this one.

“This is the first Christmas where I actually went to the beach a little bit,” Sterup said. “It was packed. You can’t do that in Nebraska. One, there’s not a beach. Two, if there was, it’d be frozen water. So yeah, it was different, for sure.”

While it may have been natural to text his frigid friends about the balmy conditions here, Sterup did not do so. He plans to stick around until mid-January. Then he’ll be back in Nebraska himself.

“And it’ll be like, the joke’s on me, because they’re all used to it,” Sterup said. “I kind of miss it, though. You know, I like sweatshirts and being bundled up and blankets by the fire.”

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