Armstead out for Sunday’s Dolphins opener. And insight on Berrios, Holland, Fangio

Dolphins left tackle Terron Armstead will miss Sunday’s opener at the Los Angeles Chargers (4:25 p.m., CBS) because of assorted injuries.

The Dolphins ruled Armstead out with ankle, knee and back injuries. Kendall Lamm is expected to start at left tackle; he played well at left tackle in a Jan. 1 game at New England before sustaining an ankle injury and also played well in preseason.

“My confidence is high [in Lamm],” coach Mike McDaniel said. “He’s shown me as consistent as anyone what I can expect from him. He has been through the rigors of the NFL journey that’s not a lottery pick and come out a better version than he came in. Where he was last year to this year is not even close.”

Lamm said of Sunday’s game: “This isn’t my first rodeo.”

Lamm and right tackle Austin Jackson must contend with Chargers pass rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack.

Per Pro Football Focus’ Ryan Smith, the Dolphins had a 67.2 pass block grade when Armstead played, but just 42.7 when he didn’t last season.

Three other Dolphins were given designations on the week’s final injury report: Elijah Campbell (knee) is out. Cornerback Justin Bethel (knee) and tight end Julian Hill are questionable.


Defensively, the Dolphins had four sacks against the Chargers in their 23-17 loss last December, but Justin Herbert still carved them up, completing 39 of 51 passes for 367 yards.

All six passes thrown to Mike WIlliams were caught, for 116 yards, with Xavien Howard allowing three of those completions for 97 yards.

Of the 13 passes thrown to Keenan Allen, 12 were caught for 92 yards.

Austin Ekeler caught all eight of his targets for 59 yards against six different Dolphins — all of whom are still on the team except Eric Rowe.

The Chargers repeatedly targeted Kader Kohou (who allowed 11 of 15 passes to be caught for 83 yards and a touchdown) and Jerome Baker (all five passes thrown against him were caught for 35 yards).

The Dolphins must hope that Vic Fangio’s zone-heavy defense will have more success. The Dolphins blitzed Herbert on 26 of his 51 throws, and he handled the blitz well, even though three of the Dolphins’ sacks came on blitzes. But Herbert also tormented Miami when he wasn’t blitzed, completing 22 of 25 passes in that situation.

The hope is that Fangio’s defense, which is good at disguising, confuses Herbert. ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky noted that Herbert has thrown four interceptions in four games against Denver when Fangio was head coach of the Broncos, and Orlovsky said Fangio’s scheme seemed to have a role in each of those picks.

But Herbert also threw eight touchdowns in those four games against Fangio’s Broncos.

Braxton Berrios’ offensive targets with the Jets dropped from 55 and 65 in 2020 and 2021 to 32 last season. He figures to be well above 32 this season if he opens the season as the Dolphins’ No. 3 wide receiver.

Berrios, last week, was asked this: “A lot of times when a player is outstanding in one area, they can kind of get typecast. You’re known as a return specialist who’s very good at that. Is it in the back of your mind to establish yourself that much more as a wide receiver as well?”

His answer: “I think that was a big point of this camp and hopefully I did a good enough job for a long enough time to establish that. And the only thing that matters is what this locker room thinks, what the people in this building think and that’s the only thing I’m concerned about. I hope I did a good enough job there.”

Berrios said returning to the city where he played college football has “been incredible. I grew up a Miami Hurricanes fan and that’s where I wanted to go to college and I was able to live that out. And I also grew up a Miami Dolphins fan, and to be here now and to literally be living out my second dream as a kid is incredible. This city, this town, these fans — I got very close to them for four years in Miami and especially that last one and I take a lot of pride in being here and representing the city of Miami.”

Safety Jevon Holland gave an interesting answer when asked what’s it like to have a defensive coordinator (Fangio) who pops into every position group’s meetings.

“I would hope he is,” Holland said. “He’s the DC. I mean it’s his job. It’s his job to know everybody’s job because if something goes wrong, I’m going to look to him. I’m looking at my position coach, but I’m looking at Vic like, ‘This is your defense; you curated it out of thin air some time ago. I hope you know what I’m supposed to be doing.’ So I think it’s good. I don’t think it’s like — I’m not like starstruck, ‘oh my God Vic’s in here.’ I’m just like, ‘OK, appreciate it, coming in here making sure everything’s going well.’ That’s kind of how I see it.”

But Holland also said this about the personal accountability he feels about the defense being run correctly, in his role as one of the key signal-callers.

“I feel all the weight on my shoulders,” Holland said. “I see everything because I’m back there. So if somebody’s misaligned, if something happens wrong, I want them to look at me so that I can help them correct it. That’s what I signed up for.”