Offensive tackle Mark Dixon was not at practice on Wednesday and he's already been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts. The next question is whether Dixon is going to be out for the count.

Dixon, as every Dolphins fan knows, has been bothered by an ankle injury since the summer and he has undergone a couple of operations.

He had targeted last Monday night as his first action of the regular season but his ankle bothered him after practicing on it and he wound up not playing.

Coach Dave Wannstedt said afterward it was very disappointing to him.

Wannstedt also made it clear on Wednesday the decision on whether to play belonged to Dixon and nobody else. But Wannstedt wants Dixon back now, or not at all.

"It's gotta be now," he said. "We're nine weeks into the season. We could use some help."

Wannstedt pointed out that the Dolphins could use Dixon's roster spot for help, but not necessarily along the offensive line.

It's clear Dixon is a top-notch player when he's right, but he's not and his ankle probably won't be totally right anytime soon.

Dixon met with Wannstedt on Wednesday and the coach said Dixon wanted to talk to a couple of people before deciding anything.

Reading between the lines, when Wannstedt says it's Dixon's decision, that means it's up to Dixon to decide if he can withstand the pain and gut it out.

Dixon has used the word "retirement" many times in the past, and it probably wouldn't surprise anyone if he simply called it a career. Or Dixon could just decide to chuck it for this year, go on injured reserve and try to give it another shot next season.

It's a situation that has become very frustrating for both Dixon and the Dolphins, but it looks like it's going to get settled one way or the other before too long.

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