MIAMI -- Third-year tailback Ronnie Brown, who has represented the bulk of the Miami Dolphins' offense so far in 2007, will undergo an MRI exam Monday morning to determine the extent of a right knee injury that forced him from Sunday's 49-28 loss to the New England Patriots.
Brown was injured in the third quarter while attempting to make a tackle on an interception return by Patriots' cornerback Randall Gay.
An X-ray on Sunday afternoon was inconclusive, but Brown's right knee was immobilized by an air cast and he walked through the locker room on crutches. The initial diagnosis, announced by the team, is a sprained knee. But coach Cam Cameron said the MRI would be utilized to provide a more precise determination of the injury.
"I guess we'll just have to take it from there, and see what the case is," said Brown, who was impressive in rushing for 76 yards on 15 carries before the injury. "I can put pressure on it and walk around some, but you never know."
The sputtering Dolphins, who fell to 0-7 for the first time in franchise history, can ill afford to have Brown sidelined. The former Auburn star, who was the second player chosen overall in 2005, was beginning to live up to that lofty draft status this year.
Brown, 25, entered the game as the NFL leader in total yards from scrimmage with 882. He was on pace for a club-record fifth straight 100-yard rushing game before the injury. Even with missing the final quarter, Brown has 602 rushing yards for the season. He also has a team-high 39 receptions, including five on Sunday for 389 yards, and is on pace to have over 2,200 all-purpose yards for the year.
Last week, in preparations for the game, New England coach Bill Belichick said Brown was the best offensive player from another team that he had seen so far this season. And after the game Sunday, several Patriots' defenders lauded Brown and the versatility that he provided the otherwise lifeless Miami offense.
"That's nice of them," Brown said of the kind words offered by New England players. "I just hope I can come back from this, that it's nothing serious. I'm keeping my fingers crossed."
Said Dolphins' 12th-year middle linebacker Zach Thomas: "It's tough enough right now, and it would be all that much tougher if we lost him. He's been one of our bright spots. In fact, he's maybe been the only bright spot for us."
Adding further duress to a difficult day, Thomas was the victim of a rear-end accident on his way home from the game but did not suffer any injuries.
A spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol said that Thomas' 2007 Mercedes was struck from behind on The Florida's Turnpike by a driver in a pickup truck. The driver of the truck was cited for failure to use due care. Thomas' car, which was being driven at the time by his wife, Maritza, had to be towed.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.