Ja'Wuan James gained some extra time to prepare for the NFL season. The Miami Dolphins' offensive tackle will not be suiting up for the team's preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. He will not be alone, as others will be joining him in street clothes. Why the tackle remains out, however, is something of a mystery as the season draws near.

James not playing

James was ruled out prior to Thursday night's game. The news isn't a major shock, since the tackle has been missing practices lately. But there seems to be some dispute at to why he's out. Some outlets report that it's simply for rest purposes.

Other outlets refuse to list a reason, but also refuse to say that it's personal. If it continues into the coming weeks, the Dolphins are going to have a major reason to be concerned.

James was a first round pick in 2014 and made one of the All-Rookie teams that season. He has been a consistent enough performer that the Dolphins chose to pick up his fifth-year option for the 2018 season back in May. He has yet to make a Pro Bowl, though, and may never make that next leap. We'll see this year, when he's expected to start alongside Jermon Bushrod on the right side, with Mike Pouncey ideally healthy enough to anchor things from the center position. Ted Larsen will likely start at left guard, while Laremy Tunsil will take on left tackle.

Other Dolphins missing

Most of James' teammates on the starting offensive line will actually be sitting out on Thursday night.

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Bushrod will be playing, but Larsen is dealing with a bicep injury, Pouncey has a hip problem, and Tunsil is out for personal reasons. Safety Nate Allen and linebacker Neville Hewitt have missed recent Miami practices, so they'll sit as well.

James won't be missing the opportunity to block for Jay Cutler for the first time. The new Dolphins quarterback still isn't ready to go, so Matt Moore will take the starter's reps on Thursday night, with David Fales and Brandon Doughty competing for the right to be the third-string quarterback. Meanwhile, running back Jay Ajayi remains in concussion protocol, so he won't play. There's no indication when he will be allowed to return to the field, with each person's concussion recovery timeline completely different. Miami likely hopes he'll be back by the next preseason game, though they'll take proper precautions in the meantime. As of now, fans will just have to wait and see.