Game Preview: Dolphins-Lions

The Dolphins will try to make it four in a row on Thursday when they play in their sixth Thanksgiving Day game, this one against the Detroit Lions. Here's a complete look at the matchup.

MIAMI DOLPHINS (4-6) AT DETROIT LIONS (2-8)

KICKOFF: Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET

SURFACE: FieldTurf

TV: CBS, Jim Nantz, Phil Simms

SERIES: 9th meeting. The Dolphins lead the all-time series, 6-2, after winning the most recent meeting in the 2002 season opener.

2006 RANKINGS: Dolphins: offense 18th (29th rush, 10th pass); defense 5th (12th rush, 6th pass). Lions: offense 14th (31st rush, 5th pass); defense 25th (23rd rush, 22nd pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: The short week will be rough with both teams hoping key players can overcome injuries. Lions RB Kevin Jones isn't expected to play because of a sprained ankle, and backups Arlen Harris and Aveion Cason don't provide the versatility Jones brings to the offense. QB Jon Kitna continues to post good numbers, but the offense is stalling far too often in the red zone. Detroit must maximize its scoring opportunities because the defense continues to struggle. Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown is coming off a 2-yard game and is also slowed by a sore groin. QB Joey Harrington is spreading the ball around well, but still puts a few balls per game up for grabs that the Lions need to take advantage of.

FAST FACTS: Dolphins: DE Jason Taylor's seven career touchdowns are tied with former Giants lineman George Martin (1975-88) for the most by a defensive lineman. ... First game at Ford Field. Lions: Are 33-21-2 on Thanksgiving, but have lost four of their past five on the holiday. ... WR Roy Williams needs 133 receiving yards for his first 1,000-yard season.

PERSONNEL NEWS

Dolphins:

-- CB Will Allen (groin) didn't participate in Tuesday's practice and is listed as questionable for Thursday's game against Detroit. Travis Daniels would start if Allen were unable to play.

-- S Travares Tillman didn't practice Tuesday because of hand surgery that will sideline him for Thursday's game against Detroit. Tillman, though, could be back in a cast as early as a Dec. 3 game against Jacksonville.

-- NT Keith Traylor (knee) participated in Tuesday's practice and appears set to return to the starting lineup for Thursday's game at Detroit. Problems with Traylor's chronically sore right knee forced him to miss last Sunday's 24-20 victory over Minnesota.

-- LB Channing Crowder practiced Tuesday after missing the second half of last Sunday's 24-20 victory over Minnesota with a hip injury. Crowder is expected to start Thursday's game at Detroit.

-- WR Wes Welker (ankle) practiced Tuesday after getting injured on a kickoff return in last Sunday's 24-20 victory over Minnesota. Welker returned to log a 36-yard catch as part of a four-reception, 59-yard outing.

Lions:

-- RB Kevin Jones, who suffered a sprained ankle early in the Lions' 17-10 loss Sunday at Arizona, isn't expected to play in the Thanksgiving Day game against the Miami Dolphins. After a slow start to the season, Jones is averaging 4.2 yards per carry and has scored six touchdowns. He is listed as questionable for the Dolphins game.

-- RB Arlen Harris, who gained 40 yards on 10 carries in his first action of the season Sunday at Arizona, could be in line for more work in the Lions' Thanksgiving Day game against Miami. RB Kevin Jones is nursing a sprained ankle and coach Rod Marinelli was pleased with Harris' performance in the backup role against the Cardinals.

-- DT Shaun Rogers has been listed as out for the Lions' Thanksgiving Day game against Miami. He began working with the team in practice this week but is not sufficiently recovered from arthroscopic knee surgery performed during his four-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.

-- PR/KR Eddie Drummond missed the team portion of practice Tuesday because of a concussion he suffered Sunday in the Lions game at Arizona. Drummond has been listed as questionable for the Thanksgiving Day game against Miami. Drummond did not participate in the team portion of practice Tuesday.

-- DT Shaun Cody has been listed as questionable and it appears unlikely he will be ready for the Lions' Thanksgiving Day game against Miami. Cody missed four games with a dislocated big toe and reinjured the toe early in the 17-10 loss Sunday at Arizona. He did not take part in the team portion of practice Tuesday.


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