Here's a matchup to watch in Sunday's Dolphins-Browns game:
Dolphins WLB Cameron Wake vs. Browns ORTs Artis Hicks, Oniel Cousins (and Tony Pashos, if healthy)
Pashos, slated to be the Browns' starting right tackle, has missed the first two games with an ankle injury, and his status for Sunday's game vs. Miami is still unknown. Head coach Pat Shurmur indicated last week that "there is a chance" Pashos could be out a few weeks.
If Pashos is out, the Browns wlll turn to Hicks and Cousins, with both players perhaps sharing time as they have the first two games. Colts DLE Robert Mathis did not have a sack last week — a positive, though he did hit QB Colt McCoy when he was unblocked on a play-action pass. Hicks, who started the game after coming off the bench in Week One, was flagged for holding on a running play after the Browns had marched inside the Colts' 10-yard line, but Cleveland recovered to score a touchdown.
"I think they both played about the way we expected them to," Shurmur said of Hicks and Cousins on Monday. "You know Oniel is probably bigger and more physical, and Artis is probably a little quicker on his feet. They both showed up in a way we thought. Neither one of them probably played much better than the other, but I think I feel good about the progress we are making."
One of the game's top pass rushers, Wake has notched a sack in each of the Dolphins' first two games, though he did struggle somewhat vs. Patriots ORT Nate Solder in the opener. Fast and strong, Wake sped past Texans ORT Eric Winston and sacked QB Matt Schaub on a third down late in the first half last Sunday, and Houston settled for a field-goal attempt. In his sack vs. New England in Week One, Solder blocked him initially, but QB Tom Brady couldn't find an open receiver, and Wake, who stuck with the play, took down New England's quarterback. Wake will likely pose a tough matchup for Cleveland no matter who is at right tackle for the Browns.