Green placed on IR list as doctors won't clear return

Updated: October 20, 2007, 9:37 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

MIAMI -- With neurological experts prescribing a prolonged period of rest, the Miami Dolphins on Saturday placed quarterback Trent Green on injured reserve, ending his 2007 season, despite his hopes that he would return to the field this year.

Trent Green

Green

Green, 37, suffered a Grade 3 concussion in the team's Oct. 7 game at Houston when he blocked Texans' defensive tackle Travis Johnson, and was accidentally kneed in the head. It marked the second straight season in which Green sustained a serious head injury.

In the 2006 season opener, Green suffered a head injury when he scrambled outside of the pocket and was tackled hard by Cincinnati defensive end Robert Geathers. Green returned later in the season but played in only eight games.

With the latest injury, however, the various experts who examined Green would not clear him to return. Last week, Green traveled to Kansas City to consult with the doctors who had treated him in 2006.

"At this point, this is the best thing for Trent and the team," Miami coach Cam Cameron said in a statement released by the team. "The doctors have prescribed rest for now. No long-term decisions regarding Trent's future have been made."

During a Monday radio appearance, Green indicated his strong desire to play again in 2007. But league sources said the Dolphins were adamantly opposed to putting the 14-year veteran back on the field at all this season.

It is possible that the latest injury will end Green's career, but there was no immediate determination on that and likely won't be for some time. Green is under contract through the 2009 season.

Said Green in a statement: "I appreciate the way the organization has handled this. I realize this is in the best interest of my long-term health, and I want nothing but the best for the team. Right now, I haven't made any decisions about my future, but I talked with the Dolphins about staying involved in some capacity for the rest of the season."

Fourth-year veteran Cleo Lemon will be the Miami starter, with rookie John Beck, a second-round draft choice, as the primary backup. Lemon, who was acquired by Miami from San Diego in a 2006 trade, has just two career starts. The winless Dolphins face the undefeated New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon.

Miami acquired Green from Kansas City in June after months of negotiations between the two franchises. It was felt that Green, a two-time Pro Bowl performer and long regarded as one of the NFL's classiest players, would provide the stability that Miami had been lacking at the quarterback position since the retirement of Hall of Fame member Dan Marino.

But in five games this season, Green was inconsistent and completed 85 of 141 passes for 987 yards, with three touchdown passes and seven interceptions, for a 72.6 passer rating.

For his career, Green has appeared in 117 games, 112 of them as a starter. He has 2,228 completions in 3,668 attempts, for 27,950 yards, with 162 touchdown passes and 108 interceptions, for a rating of 86.9. Before joining the Dolphins, he played with Washington (1997-99), St. Louis (2000) and Kansas City (2001-2006).

To replace Green on the roster, the Dolphins elevated rookie wide receiver Kerry Reed from their practice squad.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

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