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Dolphins Place Starting LT Austin Jackson On COVID List Ahead Of Week 1 Vs. Patriots

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Dolphins may be a bit shorthanded along their offensive line when they look to slow down a revamped Patriots pass rush in Week 1. On Monday, Miami placed starting left tackle Austin Jackson on the reserve/COVID-19 list, putting his status in doubt for Sunday's opener in New England.

Jackson, a 2020 first-round pick out of UCS, started 12 of his 13 games for the Dolphins last season. He played 79 percent of the team's offensive snaps.

His vaccination status is unknown, but if Jackson has been vaccinated, there's a chance that he could be cleared ahead of Sunday's game against the Patriots. If he cannot go on Sunday, Greg Little could be tasked with protecting the blind side of Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa against the Patriots and a feisty pass rush that includes newcomer Matt Judon, second-year linebacker Josh Uche, and the return of Kyle Van Noy.

Little was acquired over the offseason after he played sparingly for the Carolina Panthers over the last two seasons. During his Monday morning Zoom call with reporters, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick lauded Miami's depth along the offensive line.

"Miami had got a good group of offensive linemen. They've added a lot of young players; it's a really young offensive line. Individually you can see them getting better and getting better in groups and the combinations they've been playing with," said Belichick. "We'll see how that all plays out when we get to the regular season but it's a really solid group with a lot of depth. They've had a lot of great competition at the offensive line spots."

Miami also placed tight end Adam Shaheen on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, who ended up on the list because of a positive test, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Shaheen is unvaccinated, and will now be out for at least 10 days -- including Sunday's tilt against the Patriots.

Shaheen played in 16 games in 2020, making five starts. He caught 12 of the 22 passes that went his way for 150 yards and three touchdowns.

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