After playing in 87 straight games, Vernon Carey may have to sit out Sunday

DAVIE — For the first time in five years and 88 games, the Dolphins may not have reliable No. 72 lining up at offensive tackle this Sunday for the Jets.

Right tackle Vernon Carey, who has played in 87 straight games since missing the Dolphins' 27-13 loss to Tampa Bay on Oct. 16, 2005, missed practice Thursday for the second straight day with a knee injury he suffered last Sunday against the Browns.

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said he considers Carey day-to-day, and wouldn't say who would start if Carey cannot play, but Lydon Murtha finished out last Sunday's game after Carey left in the second half.

"We don't have to play the game today, we have to play the game on Sunday," Sparano said.

The Dolphins could also play Pat McQuistan there, and rookie John Jerry has been getting work at right tackle this week as well.
"Let's just say we have plenty of backup plans," Sparano said.

"Oviously, Vernon didn't practice today, so those plans are in motion."

Receiver Brian Hartline also missed his second straight day of practice after suffering a finger injury in the second quarter of Sunday's game. Though Sparano generally doesn't let his players play on Sunday if they don't practice during the week, he wouldn't rule out Hartline for this week's game.

"He's in the same spot as Vernon - we're just looking at him day-to-day," Sparano said.

The Dolphins do hope to get receiver Brandon Marshall back, after he missed the last two and a half games with a hamstring injury. Marshall was limited in practice on Thursday, as were Karlos Dansby (toe), Kendall Langford (neck), Jake Long (knee) and Channing Crowder (knee).
Cornerback Sean Smith was a new addition to the injury report, and had full participation with an ankle injury.

For the Jets, running back LaDainian Tomlinson and fullback Tony Richardson returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday, while safety James Ihedigbo (ankle/knee) and offensive lineman Damien Woody (knee) missed their second straight practices.

On Broadway: The Dolphins are heading to New York early Friday morning to acclimate to the weather in preparation for Sunday's game, but also to take in the Broadway play "Lombardi" on Friday night.

Several players said they are excited to check out a play for the first time in their lives, Broadway or otherwise.

"Everybody was cool with it, because it's not every day you get to go see a play with your whole team," receiver Marlon Moore said.

The fact that the play is about football doesn't hurt.

"I think everybody will be excited, because of the topic," cornerback Benny Sapp said.

Sparano said he liked the idea of taking his team to the play when owner Stephen Ross brought it up to him because Sparano is a big fan of Vince Lombardi and NFL history.

"I'm a big fan of his 'What it takes to be No. 1' speech," Sparano said. "I always have been, shared it with the team a little bit today and I think they enjoyed it."

Click here to order Vernon Carey’s proCane Rookie Card.

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