Chad Pennington out for year
DAVIE, Fla. -- Playing for the first time this season, Chad Pennington was so reluctant to leave the field that he asked a teammate to pop his injured right shoulder back into place.
"He's in the huddle and he said, 'Pull it,' " Brown said. "I'm scared. I don't want to pull it too hard -- I'll mess it up. I gave a small tug."
He's in the huddle and he said, 'Pull it.' I'm scared. I don't want to pull it too hard -- I'll mess it up. I gave a small tug.” -- Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown on Chad Pennington asking him to pop his shoulder back into place
The emergency procedure failed to help. Pennington came out of the game, and now his season is over -- and perhaps even his career.
Pennington was placed on injured reserve Monday, part of the fallout from a quarterback calamity in Sunday's victory over Tennessee. Chad Henne was also hurt but might be available for Thursday night's game against the Chicago Bears, coach Tony Sparano said.
Third-string quarterback Tyler Thigpen is the most likely starter against the Bears after closing out the weird win over the Titans. To replace Pennington on the roster, the Dolphins signed veteran Patrick Ramsey, who may become the backup Thursday.
Ramsey, an eight-year veteran, was signed after a hastily-arranged tryout Monday. He last played in 2008 with Denver and was most recently with Jacksonville this season.
Pennington, 34, has undergone surgery three times on his throwing shoulder. Promoted to the starting job when Henne was benched last week, Pennington suffered his latest injury on his first play since hurting the shoulder in Game 3 last year.
"Devastating," teammate Davone Bess said. "You can't really even put it in words."
"Obviously everybody is disappointed," Sparano said. "I know exactly how hard the guy had to work to get back. This guy is a real pro. He has meant an awful lot to me and this team."
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Injury issues weren't limited to quarterback. Pro Bowl tackle Jake Long hurt his shoulder against the Titans, and his availability was uncertain. Like Long, AFC sack leader Cameron Wake (hip) and safety Chris Clemons (groin) finished Sunday's game on the bench.
The Dolphins listed 13 players -- not including Pennington -- on their injury report Monday, with Henne, Long, Clemons and center Joe Berger (knee) the most seriously hurt.
"We have a lot of guys bumped up right now," Sparano said. "We're sorting through it all."
As he spoke, Henne was in the training room being treated for a left knee injury that sidelined him in the third quarter.
Turnaround time is brief for the Dolphins (5-4), with only a single practice -- on Tuesday -- between games.
"It's probably good, because we don't have time to dwell on things," receiver Brian Hartline said. "We've got to win games."
The short week of preparation makes it less likely Henne will be able to recover enough to start, but Sparano was noncommittal.
"We'll see. Right now we are day to day," he said. "Tyler will be ready, depending on what Chad Henne does this week."
Thigpen started 11 games for the Chiefs in 2008 but has thrown only 20 passes the past two years. He entered Sunday's game in the fourth quarter and led an 85-yard touchdown drive that sealed the 29-17 win.
Thigpen finished 4 for 6 for 64 yards and a score, a remarkably polished performance considering he has been mostly a spectator at practice this season.
"As a No. 3, that's what it is -- you don't get any reps," he said. "The No. 1 gets about 80 percent, and the 2 gets about 20 percent of the reps. But the 3 has to just sit back there and mentally rep every play."
The injuries prompted Miami to go without a quarterback for five consecutive plays against the Titans, instead resorting to the wildcat. Brown took those snaps and joked that he'll have his throwing arm warmed up Thursday.
Hartline and fellow receiver Bess pointed out they both played QB in high school and were available for emergency duty.
"We're loaded, man," Bess said. "Whenever my number is called, I'm going to be ready."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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