Turf Tale and Other Notes

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano publicly thanked team owner Steven Ross for authorizing the placement of turf over the baseball infield for Sunday night's game against the New York Jets. Typically, the Dolphins would have to wait until after the Marlins' final home game (Oct. 3) to escape the dirt, but a week-long road trip that began Thursday opened the door for the upgrade against the Jets.

It's also possible the Dolphins will be able to get the turf down again in time for their Oct. 4 Monday night game against New England, but that would require some cooperation from Mother Nature.

"Mr. Ross ... has done a great job for us that way in giving us the things that we need," Sparano said. "This is really a super opportunity for us."

An in-game downpour turned the infield surface at Sun Life Stadium into a soupy mess for the Aug. 14 preseason opener against Tampa Bay.

"I think after that Tampa game, you just never know what those things can be like," Sparano said, noting Thursday afternoon featured a steady downpour at the team's facility.

NOTES, QUOTES

-- Dolphins nickel cornerback Benny Sapp played through a painful hamstring injury in 2006 while with the Chiefs. He had to go up against Peyton Manning's Colts, losing 23-8 in the wild-card round to the eventual Super Bowl champs, but Sapp still managed to get through it.

"I couldn't hit top speed, but I did all right," Sapp said, recalling a similar issue that has landed Darrelle Revis on the "out" list for Sunday's game. "Trying to get that top-end speed, it really kills you, but side to side and that quick burst, it doesn't bother you too much."

With that experience to draw from, does Sapp expect Revis to play?

"It could be very difficult for him," Sapp said. "If it's like a coin-toss decision whether he's going to play or not, I'm pretty sure he's going to play."

-- This will be the third straight year the Dolphins have gone against CB Antonio Cromartie, who spent the first four years of his career with San Diego. Cromartie was part of a Chargers defense that held the Dolphins to 140 passing yards in a 23-13 loss in Week 3 last year that claimed Chad Pennington to a season-ending injury to his throwing shoulder.

"I know we don't overlook him," Sparano said of Cromartie. "Both of them (Cromartie and Revis) are good players. We have played against this guy a couple years now. This guy's a good player. He gets his hands on a lot of footballs, had a couple interceptions last week. He's one of these guys, you've heard me say this before, but I think the ball finds him a little bit. He can get rough with you. I like the way he plays, I really do."

-- Sparano said it was good to get ILB Channing Crowder (groin) back to practice for the first time in 36 days. "It was really good to see Channing back to practice today," Sparano said. "The stretch lines were a little quiet for a while, and that changed today."

-- The Dolphins, still tweaking their roster despite a 2-0 start, waived former Pro Bowl return specialist Clifton Smith and tight end John Nalbone on Tuesday. Smith, signed after the Bucs released him out of training camp, failed to make much of an impact. His longest kickoff return was 19 yards and he returned just two of nine punts for a total of 9 yards.

-- Tight end Jeron Mastrud, an undrafted rookie out of Kansas State, was signed off the practice squad to replace Nalbone, leaving the Dolphins with one opening on their 53-man roster. Nalbone, a fifth-round pick out of Monmouth in 2009, could still be added to the practice squad if he clears waivers.

-- Rookie tight end Mickey Shuler was claimed off waivers from the Vikings. Shuler gives the Dolphins three tight ends — joining Anthony Fasano and fellow rookie Jeron Mastrud — and fills a roster spot the team had held open for 48 hours. Shuler, 6-4 and 251 pounds, was a seventh-rounder out of Penn State, where he teamed with classmate Jared Odrick, the Dolphins' 2010 first-round pick.

-- Long snapper John Denney was credited with a special teams tackle originally given to Brian Hartline, who wasn't even on the field for the last Dolphins punt Sunday. Also, a half sack was taken away from Cameron Wake and Randy Starks was given a full sack after video review of Sunday's win. Wake still leads the team with two sacks.


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