With Terron Armstead injured, Brandon Shell and Dolphins look for answers

MIAMI GARDENS – Before meeting with the media, Dolphins tackle Brandon Shell spent about 10 minutes in conversation with assistant offensive line coach Lem Jeanpierre.

That post-game scene at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, coach and player sitting side-by-side in locker stalls, is an uncommon one.

When asked what was said, Shell, a 7-year veteran, said:  "I don't even want to talk about it."

Shell had entered Miami's defeat of Houston in the third quarter, after Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead left with a pectoral injury.

After the change, Miami quickly allowed four sacks.

"It's kind of difficult, but you've just got to go do the job," Shell said, adding, "I've got to be the best version of me."

Late Sunday, NFL Network reported Armstead has a pectoral strain, which would be much less severe than the feared pectoral tear. That could have been season-ending.

Still, Armstead, who has played through a toe injury all season, is likely to miss time.

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"I hope he's okay," guard Robert Hunt said of Armstead.

The corner of the Dolphins' locker room where offensive linemen dress after the game was a bit somber. Younger linemen view Armstead as a mentor.

"He brings the energy out there and we all love playing beside him because he gives us a coach-like vibe when he's there," Hunt said, finding the offensive-line's second-half performance "sluggish."

If Armstead cannot play against the 49ers next Sunday, Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel will have a choice between Shell, who has been solid in right tackle action, or Greg Little.

After the game, McDaniel said he was too aggressive in his play-calling after Armstead left.

Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Terron Armstead (72) answers questions from the media during training camp at Baptist Health Training Complex, Wednesday, July 27, 2022 in Miami Gardens.
Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Terron Armstead (72) answers questions from the media during training camp at Baptist Health Training Complex, Wednesday, July 27, 2022 in Miami Gardens.

"They teed off and we put the tackles in some real tough situations. I need to get better and the players will take accountability and work on technique, too,” McDaniel said.

Soon after Shell entered the game, McDaniel opted to pull Tua Tagovailoa and insert backup quarterback Skylar Thompson as a precaution.

Armstead has been no stranger to injury in 2022.

A nagging toe injury left Miami's captain questionable against the Jets and out in Week 6 against the Vikings. Armstead suited up Sunday, but went down before halftime.

"Not sure how serious it is. We’ll find out more (Monday)." McDaniel said. "That was an injury, regardless of the score, I'm going to keep him out of the game."

Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Brandon Shell (71) runs off the field against the New York Jets during an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Brandon Shell (71) runs off the field against the New York Jets during an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

On Sunday, three Dolphins linemen were asked who might fill a leadership void while Armstead is sidelined. But no specific teammate was cited.

Shell is actually one of the Dolphins' most experienced linemen. However, he hadn't played left tackle for Miami since a lopsided loss to the Jets in early October.

Shell did eventually share that he and Jeanpierre were reviewing technique.

And now, next Sunday, 49ers star pass rusher Nick Bosa, who has 11.5 sacks, awaits.

"No matter what, I feel like I have something to prove," Shell said.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Miami Dolphins' Terron Armstead pectoral injury massive concern