Dolphins say rookie Tunsil hurt his ankle in the shower
DAVIE, FLA. >> It's tough to find anything the Miami Dolphins do well, and that includes bathing.
Rookie guard Laremy Tunsil missed the team's latest loss because he hurt his ankle when he slipped in the shower at the team hotel several hours before kickoff, coach Adam Gase said Monday.
"It's like one of those one-in-a-thousand or one-in-a-million type deals," Gase said.
Tunsil's reaction to his mishap?
"I'm sure it's a cross between embarrassment and, 'Really, I'm missing a game because of this?"' Gase said.
So it goes for the Dolphins, who are 1-4 and underdogs at home Sunday against Pittsburgh. The start under first-year coach Gase is worse than any in three-plus seasons under predecessor Joe Philbin.
If not for a missed field goal by woeful Cleveland on the final play of regulation in Week 3, the Dolphins would be the NFL's only winless team.
They're bad enough as it is. Sunday's 30-17 home loss against Tennessee was a new low, with the Titans gaining more yards on the ground (235) than the Dolphins gained altogether (200).
The offense totaled eight first downs, and for the third time this season scored a single touchdown. Beleaguered Ryan Tannehill was jeered like never before in his five NFL seasons, and six sacks amplified criticism he holds the ball too long and has poor pocket awareness.
Bad blocking — a staple of the offense for years — continues to be a problem. The issue was compounded against Tennessee by the absence of both starters on the left side, Tunsil and tackle Branden Albert, who was sidelined by a stomach virus.
Gase knew during the week he would be without Albert. The coach found out Sunday morning that Tunsil would be out, too.
"I'm driving to the game, and I'm with our offensive line coach," Gase said. "He gets a phone call, and I hear him talking on the phone, and I'm like, 'Who's he talking to"'
It's uncertain how long Tunsil will be sidelined, but he's not on crutches and is able to walk, Gase said.
Tunsil became the biggest story of this year's NFL draft when a bizarre video was posted on his Twitter account showing him smoking from a gas mask connected to a bong. He had been projected as a possible No. 1 overall pick and instead fell to Miami with the 13th choice.
When asked if sobriety was an issue regarding the ankle injury, Gase said: "The guy was taking a shower and slipped."
Tunsil hasn't talked to the media since his mishap.
"Nobody wants to deal with that situation," teammate Jermon Bushrod said. "It's not fun for him. It's not fun for us."
While Tunsil is in limbo, Albert said he expects to be back at practice Wednesday. The Dolphins have yet to put all five first-team offensive linemen on the field at the same time, which has contributed to Tannehill's struggles.
Gase has remained supportive of his quarterback, and noted Tannehill was hit on nine of 18 plays when he dropped back Sunday.
"I'm supposed to blame him for that?" Gase said. "I get a look at the whole picture. I'm calling the plays. I know what it's supposed to look like, and it's not looking like that right now as far as what's going on around him.
"When we start cleaning some things up and we give him a chance to perform at the level that I think he's going to perform ... if he doesn't do it, that's one thing. But I need to see to where we get a chance in protection."
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