After an impressive start, the Miami Dolphins will have to survive the rest of the season without one of their best players.
Dolphins announce LT Jake Long is headed to IR. His contract is up after the season.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 4, 2012
The left tackle was the first overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft and has been a force on the offensive line ever since.
Long started all but two games in his first five seasons, and he has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first four years in the league. In 2010, the Associated Press named him first-team All Pro.
Miami will suffer a big dropoff with Long out of the lineup. Will Yeatman is listed as the primary backup for Long, and he has played only sparingly in two years in the league after being signed as an undrafted free agent.
Right tackle Jonathan Martin can move to the left side in the short term, but the rookie second-round pick will still leave a void on the offensive line.
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins also signed Patrick Brown to help create depth.
The Dolphins are 5-7 on the year and are currently tied for second place in the AFC East. After coming into the year with low expectations, the team is only two games out of a playoff spot with four weeks left to play.
Hopefully for Miami, the loss of Long does not hurt the team too much as it tries to reach the postseason.