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Dolphins optimistic Branden Albert's ready for Week 1

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The Miami Dolphins were forced to navigate the second half of last season without left tackle Branden Albert. The team remains hopeful they'll have Albert back for the start of a new campaign.

Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said on SiriusXM NFL Radio this week there is a "reasonable expectation" Albert will be on the field when Miami opens its 2015 schedule against the Redskins on Sept. 13.

"It's been a long rehab but he's really attacked it every day," Hickey said. "Reasonable expectation is for him to play opening day and so, still a lot of rehab to go, but we really like his progress. He's out there with his team working out. We're really encouraged by what we're seeing with him."

Albert suffered a torn ACL and MCL in a November loss to the Lions. Albert, who signed a five-year, $46 million contract in March 2014, had been playing at an All-Pro level prior to the injury. Ja'Wuan James moved to left tackle after the Albert injury, struggling over the course of seven starts. He is expected to kick back over to right tackle once Albert returns.

Hickey's wording indicates the Dolphins remain guarded about Albert's recovery, though there have been no setbacks to this point. The team will likely take a conservative approach in training camp and the preseason with one of their most important players.

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