The Dolphins defense should be at full force against New England on Sunday, as both Tim Bowens and Junior Seau practiced on Wednesday. The offense, however, might be even more short-handed than it has been.

Tackle Mark Dixon continues to experience soreness in his right ankle and he still isn't able to go in practice, so it's almost a given he again will sit out this weekend.

He probably will be joined on the sidelines by fullback Rob Konrad, who has a bone bruise in a knee. Konrad also didn't practice on Wednesday.

As for Bowens and Seau, they both took part in practice and Coach Dave Wannstedt said both were fine. Bowens was fitted with a splint to protect his left hand, which was injured in the victory over the New York Giants.

In other news:

-- New long-snapper Jeff Grau had his first practice with the Dolphins after being signed to replace Sean McDermott.

"You are evaluating every position every week and if you have a chance to try and improve an area of your team you are going to do it," Wannstedt said of the change. "We felt that Jeff's combination of snapping, covering and blocking was worth bringing him in and giving him an opportunity."

-- Safety Trent Gamble also missed practice because after visiting a doctor to examine an infection on his thigh, but Wannstedt said he didn't know whether it was a staph infection.

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