Dolphins fall to Vikings 20-7

The Miami Dolphins not only lost their preseason finale to the Minnesota Vikings 20-7 Friday night at Pro Player Stadium, but more importantly suffered what could be some key injuries as the team prepares for it's regular season opener against Tennessee next week.

The trainers roon was a crowded place after the game as a total of nine Dolphins made the injury list. Most notably were backup quarterback Ray Lucas and his backup Mike Quinn.

Incredibly, the two quarterbacks went out on consecutive plays late in the second half. Lucas suffered a right groin strain as he was chased out of bounds and on the very next play, Quinn was sacked and came off the field with his right shoulder drooping. The early diagnosis was a right shoulder S./C sprain but an MRI on Saturday will determine if there is any kind of a seperation.

Lucas put the Dolphins up 7-0 in the first minute of the second quarter when he rolled out from the one and outraced Minnesota defenders to the corner flag.

The Vikings answered Miami's score with a nine-play, 67-yard drive culminating in a five-yard Daunte-Culpepper to Randy Moss touchdown pass as Moss beat rookie Jamar Fletcher to the ball in the back right corner of the end zone.

Gary Anderson put the Vikes in front for good when he connected on a 36-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.

The second half was a tough one to watch for Dolphins fans as only Cade McNown, not even scheduled to play having just arrived 10 days ago, was left to quarterback the team.

Predictably McNown struggled as he completed just one-of-six passes for 17 yards and one interception.

Even though they only trailed 13-7 (Anderson kicked a 43-yard field goal with 0:07 left in the third quarter) in the fourth quarter, McNown just started handing off as the Dolphins went ultra-conservative.

The Vikings put the game away on a Doug Chapman one yard run with 8:34 left in the contest.

All during the first and second halves, Dolphin players being helped off the field became a regular sight: Guard Todd Perry limped off with a left ankle sprain; Tight end Shawn Draper suffered a lower back strain; Linebacker Tommy Hendricks suffered a right hip pointer; Cornerback Ben Kelly went down with a right ankle sprain as did tight end Jed Weaver and safety Shawn Wooden re-aggravted his left hamstring. Perhaps the most seriously injured Dolphin though was defensive tackle Earnest Grant. Early reports were a left knee contusion but Grant needed a lot of help leaving the field and an MRI will reveal if there is more damage.

Lucas actually returned to the game for the final series of the first half but his painful limp was obvious and McNown was thrown into the fire.

About the only offensive highlights for the night for Miami was running back Travis Minor who looked sharp rushing for 46 yards on eight carries. Quarterback Jay Fiedler saw one quarter of action and appeared reasonably sharp as he completed 5-of-7 passes for 50 yards and no interceptions.

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