Gardener had back surgery on Nov. 24, while Dixon suffered a broken ankle as well as ligament damage the next day in the Dolphins' 34-27 victory at Buffalo.
As far as Mayes and McDuffie, the Dolphins decided not to activate them from the physically unable to perform list, which means neither player is eligible to return to the team this season.
Both had been working out with the team since Nov. 14, although McDuffie never practiced on a full-time basis. It's not out of line to wonder whether McDuffie has played his last down for the Dolphins, assuming the wide receiver wants to try playing again in 2002.
The last bit of business involved the signing of defensive tackle Henry Taylor, one of five players the Dolphins worked out at the position in the last week.
The others were Ryan Hale, Jason Wiltz, Tim Morabito and Tom Barndt. The Dolphins also talked with former University of Miami stars Cortez Kennedy and Russell Maryland, but the two NFL veterans weren't interested in playing football at this time.
As for Taylor, who was signed to a two-year contract, he played in one game with the Chicago Bears this season before being waived on Oct. 29.
Taylor also has been with San Diego, Detroit and Atlanta since entering the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent in 1998, and also had stints in NFL Europe.
The moves left the Dolphins with 51 players on their roster, which is two short of the league maximum. It is expected that the Dolphins will promote one of their young offensive linemen off the practice squad, either Andy Vincent or Anthony Cesario.