BIG ABSENCES

The Dolphins defense will face a difficult task against the red-hot Tennessee offense Sunday, and it might have to do so without a couple of Pro Bowl players.

Cornerback Patrick Surtain and linebacker Zach Thomas both missed practice on Thursday and both are listed as questionable for Sunday's game.

Surtain sustained a sprained ankle in Sunday's loss to the Colts, while Thomas is nursing a groin injury.

Tommy Hendricks would get the start at middle linebacker if Thomas can't go on Sunday, and Coach Dave Wannstedt indicated that might be a game-time decision.

As for the cornerback spot, Wannstedt said the Dolphins would have to decide between Terrell Buckley or Jamar Fletcher as the starter in the event Surtain can't go.

Quarterback Jay Fiedler also sat out Thursday's practice as he continues to nurse his sprained knee, and it's looking like it could be a third consecutive with Sage Rosenfels as the backup to Brian Griese with Fiedler as the No. 3 quarterback.


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