Because the team is running short on offensive guards due to injuries the Miami Dolphins swapped out an offensive tackle for an offensive guard on Thursday.

The Dolphins, which are practicing without Lance Louis, who is rehabbing a surgically repaired ACL, and rookie Dallas Thomas, who is rehabbing a surgically repaired shoulder, released Patrick Ward to make room for Brian Thomas.

Thomas, a 6-foot-3, 315 pound rookie, played at Texas A&M most of his collegiate career. He transferred to Texas Tech for his senior season, but didn't play for the Red Raiders.

However, in 2010 Thomas started all 13 games for the Aggies, which were then coached by Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.


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Ward, a former Northwestern standout, was signed as a rookie free agent this offseason.

The Dolphins have quite a few offensive tackles on the roster, but very few health guards.

Richie Incognito and John Jerry presently serve as the starting offensive guards, and Nate Garner is the top backup for both tackle and guard.

Will Yeatman, a former tight end who played offensive tackle last season, has already been moved inside to guard, and is presently working on the second-team offense.

Unless he excels during the offseason program and training camp, Thomas is more than likely competing for a spot on the Dolphins' practice squad. But his presence should come in handy while Louis and Dallas Thomas are sidelined.

It doesn't appear that Louis or Dallas Thomas will be cleared for contact work until training camp begins in mid-July.