Sunday’s win over the Tennessee Titans, while it kept the Dolphins’ playoff hopes very much alive, was very costly as the team lost its top two quarterbacks to injury as well as star offensive tackle Jake Long, the former No. 1 overall pick.
Well, the news in the wake of those injuries has ranged from terrible to not so bad. For sure QB Chad Pennington, who started the Titans game, is done for the season after suffering a separated shoulder. He was placed on season-ending injured reserve early this week. The news on fellow QB Chad Henne, the starter all season until Sunday, is actually better than expected. There was genuine concern that his knee injury might be season ending but now the team believes he should return sooner rather than later, although getting back for Thursday’s home game with the Chicago Bears is unlikely. It’s expected that third stringer Tyler Thigpen gets his first start of the year. Bet on the game with Bodog’s NFL odds.
Meanwhile, Long also has a dislocated shoulder but is going to try and play through it. Long’s shoulder will eventually require surgery. After the surgery, which is an arthroscopic procedure, Long will require 3-6 weeks of healing and another 3-6 weeks of rehabilitation to regain full strength. But he is hoping to deal with the pain and delay it until after the season – or at least until the Dolphins might be eliminated from playoff contention. He would have to play with a shoulder harness in the meantime. His status for the Bears likely won’t come before game day.
“Jake’s a pretty tough guy,” Coach Tony Sparano said. “We’ll see where we go.”
Miami has mostly prepared Lydon Murtha to be the backup to Long at left tackle, but Vernon Carey is capable of moving from the right side to the left if need be. The Dolphins have alternated wins and losses since a two-game losing streak in Weeks 3-4.
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