Dolphins tackle Terron Armstead exits Bills game; Connor Williams, DeShon Elliott out

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Miami Dolphins left tackle Terron Armstead left Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills in the second quarter.

He was initially deemed questionable to return with a knee injury, but he was later downgraded to out in the third quarter.

Armstead had his left leg rolled up on by Bills defensive tackle DaQuan Jones as he was pass-blocking on a play. He was already playing through an ailing right ankle, knee and back. Armstead immediately limped into the tunnel through the nearby end zone where he went down, foregoing a return to the sideline.

The four-time Pro Bowl left tackle had already missed the first two games of the season, recovering from the ankle injury suffered in an Aug. 17 joint practice with the Houston Texans. He debuted in Week 3 against the Denver Broncos and entered Sunday questionable after a limited week of practice.

With Armstead exiting, Kendall Lamm entered at left tackle for a Dolphins offensive line that already had Liam Eichenberg starting at center for the injured Connor Williams.

Williams, Elliott out

Williams and safety DeShon Elliott were both out from the start for Sunday’s AFC East tilt.

The two were among the team’s inactive players announced 90 minutes before the kickoff at Highmark Stadium.

Williams injured his groin in last Sunday’s 70-20 win over the Broncos. He was limited in Thursday and Friday practices during the past week after missing the team’s Wednesday session.

Eichenberg, a second-round pick for the Dolphins in 2021 who was the starting left guard in 2022, has played for Williams as the backup center.

“I felt that he rose to the challenge in a very necessary way,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said of Eichenberg’s play last week against Denver. “There’s stuff that he can improve on for sure, but I was happy with how the game wasn’t too big for him. He executed his assignments, made sure there were a lot of appropriately declared run and pass plays when he was in and that starts and ends with the center.”

Added offensive coordinator Frank Smith: “He’s doing a great job. I mean, the hardest thing is when you get thrust into new situations, how do you handle it? And the great thing about Liam is how he’s wired and how he approaches everything. So far, he’s really working through the process, and he’s been a true pro in everything he does.”

Elliott has been dealing with ankle and groin injuries. He was limited throughout the week of practice. Starting the first three games, Elliott is second on the team with 22 tackles. He also has a fumble recovery and three pass deflections.

Without Elliott, Brandon Jones saw his first start of the season on defense after returning from a torn ACL in his knee last season. After 16 defensive snaps against the Broncos last week, he didn’t appear acclimated at times, missing tackles against Bills running back Latavius Murray and wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Miami also has Elijah Campbell available to handle safety reps.

“It was good to finally get him some action,” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said of Jones this past week. “He’s had very limited practice. He had very, very limited reps in training camp. Didn’t play in any preseason games. We’ve been getting him more reps in practice and hopefully we’re seeing the progress that allows him to play.”

The Dolphins had already ruled outside linebacker Jaelan Phillips, who was also among inactives Sunday, out Friday. Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle was officially available after clearing concussion protocol this past week.

Miami running back Salvon Ahmed, who entered questionable with a groin injury, was active but behind De’Von Achane for touches. Miami’s other inactives were cornerback Eli Apple, tight end Tyler Kroft and quarterback Skylar Thompson, who’s available as an emergency third quarterback.

For the Bills, safety Jordan Poyer was inactive after he was ruled out Friday with a knee injury.

Without Poyer, Buffalo had safety Damar Hamlin active for the first time in a regular-season game since his cardiac arrest on the field late last season. Hamlin was seen on special teams plays for the Bills.

Other Buffalo inactives were cornerback Kaiir Elam, guard Germain Ifedi, tackle Alec Anderson and defensive tackle Poona Ford.

This story will be updated.