Surtain said his knee hasn't felt quite right since he sustained an injury in the second game of the 2002 season, the 21-13 victory at Indianapolis.
You may remember Surtain was injured when he came down after making an interception in the end zone.
In Surtain's absence, former first-round pick Jamar Fletcher will be working with the first unit.
"It's obviously a big opportunity for me," Fletcher said. "I just want to come in and step up and improve my game that much more."
Fletcher will start Friday night's preseason opener against Tampa Bay, although he also will see action in the slot, a position where the Dolphins plan on using him this season.