DAY-AFTER REPORT

The Dolphins offensive line got so thin Saturday night at Houston that veteran Leon Searcy was moved back to his old position of tackle. Things aren't likely to get much better this week for the preseason finale against Chicago.

Coach Dave Wannstedt said Sunday the Dolphins would have a "makeshift offensive line" against the Bears.

That's because Brent Smith is out for the year after tearing an ACL for the second consecutive year. The only difference is that it didn't happen on the first day of camp like last year, and that this year's injury was to his right knee.

Offensive tackle Todd Wade also won't play against Chicago because of a sprained ankle he sustained against the Texans. The injury isn't serious, but there's no reason to take any chances in a meaningless last preseason game.

Tackle Marcus Spriggs didn't play against Houston because of back spasms, and there's no telling yet whether he'll play against Chicago.

As for Searcy, Wannstedt was glad to see the veteran could handle going back to his old position, but the plan remains to use Searcy at guard.

"It was encouraging from a mental standpoint that he could handle it in an emergency," Wannstedt said.

There was positive news as far as Mark Dixon was concerned. Not only did he play well in his first start at left tackle, but he also reported no physical problems after the game.

That's encouraging considering he has experienced a lot of soreness this summer as he comes back from last year's broken fibula.

As for the overall health of the offensive line, Wannstedt summed it up by saying, "We'll be OK for Detroit, but we'll be lean this week."


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