Determined Davone

WR Davone Bess

Davone Bess has been a reliable wide receiver for the Dolphins ever since he joined the team as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2008. He literally had always been there for them before Sunday when he missed the first game of his NFL career because of a back problem. It was an experience Bess didn't enjoy and clearly doesn't want to repeat.

The Dolphins don't address injuries beyond what appears on the weekly injury report, so Bess' back issue is a little bit of a mystery.

Bess played 56 of the team's 61 offensive snaps in the Week 14 game at San Francisco and he was not reported injured at any point.

Yet Bess surfaced on the injury report last week and didn't practice at all before the Dolphins faced the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Bess also didn't practice on Wednesday, and afterward was quick to tell reporters he wouldn't discuss specifics.

He did, however, talk about having to sit out an NFL game for the first time.

""It ate me up, ate me up," Bess said. " I can't even explain it. It's just a weird, weird feeling I don't ever want to get used to."

Third-year player Marlon Moore got the start in Bess' place, with rookie Rishard Matthews and newcomer Armon Binns also getting playing time.

While Bess said he was impressed with the work of the young wide receivers, the highlight of the day at the position for the Dolphins was Brian Hartline reaching the 1,000-yard mark for the season.

Asked how proud of was of Hartline, Bess replied: "So, so ... I can't even put it into words. I texted him a little bit after the game and I let him know, I'm really proud of you, bro, because y'all and me and him, everybody knows that nobody saw that coming.

"We've been getting a lot of trash since we've been here — not just me and him, just the receiving corps in general. You all know it. And just to see him miss training camp and then just hush everybody up and just go out and keep his head down and just work, it just speaks volumes about his character."

Bess also was headed for a 1,000-yard season, but that became a lot more difficult because of the injury.

Bess needs 222 yards to reach 1,000, meaning he would have needed to average 74 yards in the last three games. Now, he needs to average 111 yards against Buffalo and New England.

Make no mistake, Bess is well aware the injury might have cost him that 1,000-yard achievement.

"I know man, I know," he said. "But you know what? That's just how this game works, though. You've got to stay positive and take it for what it is."

More than his yardage total, what Bess really wants is to be able to return to practice.

While his teammates were working out on Wednesday, he spent a lot of time watching and a lot of time riding the stationary bike.

He didn't care for either.

"I notice that I need to be on the field," he said. "I even told K.O. (trainer Kevin O'Neill) and them, I appreciate them even standing around because experiencing that, it's all bad. I don't know what to do, my clock is off, it's just weird."

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