Williams injures shoulder in return to Miami's lineup

Updated: November 27, 2007, 12:37 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

In need of backfield help because of an ankle injury to Jesse Chatman, the Miami Dolphins activated Ricky Williams and played him against the Pittsburgh Steelers on "Monday Night Football."

Williams got his first three carries of the season in the first quarter but injured his right shoulder during the second quarter after carrying six times for 15 yards. He did not return in the Dolphins' 3-0 loss in Pittsburgh.

Lightning and heavy rain, an uncommon combination in Pittsburgh in late November, delayed the start of game for 25 minutes.

The Dolphins had until December to decide whether to activate Williams from the league's exempt list, but the injury to Chatman -- who's listed as questionable with an ankle injury and wasn't moving well toward the end of the week -- forced Miami's hand. To make room for Williams, the Dolphins released running back Samkon Gado.

Williams is returning to the NFL after 18 months. He served a drug suspension that was extended from May until two weeks ago on the recommendation of the league's drug counselor. This summer, Williams moved to Boston and spent time with drug counselors reviewing his life and past habits.

The Steelers unexpectedly deactivated left tackle Marvel Smith for Monday night's game and former starting right tackle Max Starks took his place.

The Steelers did not immediately disclose a reason for Smith's absence. He was not listed on the team's injury list last week and had started 28 consecutive games.

Starks was beaten out at right tackle by Willie Colon during training camp and has since played as a backup and on some third downs as a blocking tight end.

Information from ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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