Bruised and battered

It's not bad enough that the Dolphins have a lot of issues to deal with these days, they're also having to contend with an injury bug that has left them short-handed.

The bad news continued on Friday when cornerback Patrick Surtain was downgraded from questionable to doubtful. Surtain was bothered by a groin injury throughout training camp and he aggravated it in the second half of the season opener against Tennessee.

Cornerback Reggie Howard, meanwhile, was downgraded from probable to questionable. That means that there's a very real possibility that fourth-round pick Will Poole could get his first NFL start Sunday night at Cincinnati.

Poole has a tremendous amount of talent, but it still would be unsettling to have him start against a team with one of the best receiving corps in the league.

Already, fullback Rob Konrad and running back Travis Minor have been declared out of the game, and there's a strong possibility that defensive tackle Tim Bowens and running back Sammy Morris also will miss the game.

Coach Dave Wannstedt already has said that Lamar Gordon will start at halfback on Sunday, joining quarterback A.J. Feeley and fullback Doug Easlick in an all-new backfield.

Yes, things just don't get any easier for the Dolphins.

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