Changes coming?

The Dolphins find themselves in a precarious position after the first two weeks of the regular season, and there will be some changes -- some forced, some by choice -- for the next game.

Gone is kick returner Lamont Brightful, who had too many problems handling the ball Sunday night at Cincinnati for Coach Dave Wannstedt's liking.

Brightful has been released and he's expected to be replaced by rookie Wes Welker, who returned eight punts for touchdowns during his career at Texas Tech. Welker made the 53-man roster in San Diego this year, but released after veteran Tim Dwight returned from injury.

Also gone is defensive tackle Larry Chester, who is out for the season after tearing an ACL Sunday night. His loss will hurt because he had lost a lot of weight in the offseason and was off to a strong start this season.

In his absence, veteran Bryan Robinson probably will move into the starting lineup. If Tim Bowens has to sit out another game because of his bad back, then Jeff Zgonina would start alongside Robinson, with Dario Romero providing backup help.

And then there's the offensive line, where Damion McIntosh is expected to be ready to contribute this week.

If he is, you can look for McIntosh to step in at left tackle in place of second-year player Wade Smith, who struggled all summer and was downright dreadful in the loss at Cincinnati.

Now, don't expect McIntosh to make a huge difference in the play of the offensive line, but it's a step in the right direction given how badly Smith has been struggling.

The rest of the offensive line probably will stay the same despite its lackluster performance because the other backups include two rookies (Vernon Carey and Rex Hadnot) and a third-player Greg Jerman who couldn't hang on to his starting job in camp.

Also don't expect to see backup tight end Donald Lee a whole lot for the time being, if ever. He was flagged twice on Sunday, once on special teams and once on offense, and Wannstedt made it a point on Monday to say that repeat offenders with penalties simply wouldn't play.


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