Pat McAfee: Dolphins' offense is vastly different without Tyreek Hill (2:13)Pat McAfee breaks down how important Tyreek Hill is to the Dolphins and why his injury vs. the Titans was so confusing. (2:13)
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins center Connor Williams will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL, coach Mike McDaniel said Tuesday, a critical blow to a team still in contention for the conference's top seed.
Williams suffered the knee injury on the Dolphins' first offensive series in their 28-27 loss Monday night to the Tennessee Titans and did not return, leaving the Dolphins without four of their five starters on the offensive line.
His absence was immediately felt. On that same offensive series, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa mishandled a snap from backup center Liam Eichenberg to give the Titans the ball at Tennessee's 2-yard line.
Tennessee also pressured Tagovailoa on 40% of his dropbacks Monday night, sacking him five times.
McDaniel said the Dolphins will look into the possibility of signing a veteran free agent for depth purposes, but ultimately the team feels confident in its options behind Williams.
"You don't directly replace him, necessarily," McDaniel said. "I'd love to take the time right now to speak to the regard that this team has for Connor Williams and what he was doing this year, playing some excellent ball. ... You don't necessarily replace that directly. However, you also prepare a lot for contingencies for these types of scenarios."
"At some point, it gets a little challenging for everyone when you start talking about double-digit [games missed], but along that journey, guys get much more equipped to do it, guys start playing better at those positions," McDaniel said.
Eichenberg is expected to fill in as Miami's starting center, with Cotton serving as his backup.
The 2021 second-round pick has played 554 offensive snaps across multiple positions this season, and McDaniel said the Dolphins will rely on the upward trajectory he has shown.
"Liam's had a real cool season, to me, because he's gone in at a position -- whether it's right guard, left guard or center -- and he's played well enough for us to win," he said. "And then the next week, he comes back and plays even better. That momentum, we'll be counting on."
Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill was limited to just 46% of the team's offensive snaps in Monday's loss after suffering an ankle injury in the first quarter. McDaniel called the NFL's leading receiver "day-to-day" as he works through the injury.
Lastly, safety DeShon Elliott has been placed into concussion protocol after reporting symptoms. He briefly left Monday's game with head and rib injuries but returned before ultimately leaving the game for good in the fourth quarter.
The Dolphins, meanwhile, are signing linebacker Melvin Ingram to their practice squad, a source told ESPN on Tuesday. The move comes two weeks after the team lost linebacker Jaelan Phillips for the season with a torn Achilles tendon.
Ingram played 17 games for Miami last season, recording six sacks, seven tackles for a loss and 10 quarterback hits. The former first-round pick made three Pro Bowls for the Los Angeles Chargers from 2017 to 2019.
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