SPRIGGS READY IF NEEDED

With left tackle Mark Dixon moving around on crutches on Monday, there is a distinct possibility he will have to sit out Sunday's showdown against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. And that puts Marcus Spriggs in the spotlight.

Spriggs, who replaced Dixon in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss at Kansas City, is ready for the challenge. More than that, he's looking forward to it.

Remember, Spriggs figured he would be the full-time starter at left tackle this season after Brent Smith went down with a knee injury. But that all changed when the Dolphins decided to move Dixon to left tackle from left guard and insert Jamie Nails into the starting lineup at Dixon's old spot.

"You know I'm looking forward to it," Spriggs said Monday. "I have friends on the New England team, and you always want to look good in front of friends and family. I just want to be a productive player and get out there and help the team win.

"I'm in the position I always want to be in. I want to be starting. I hate to see Mark go down. I think he's a good man, a good player, but I am in a position I want to be in."

Coach Dave Wannstedt said Monday that Dixon was questionable for Sunday's game against New England, but the best guess is that Dixon probably will miss one game.

Wannstedt expressed confidence in Spriggs should he been needed to start against the Patriots, and said the offense wouldn't change one bit.

"He was going to be our starting left tackle, and we were comfortable with that, if Jamie Nails wouldn't have come on," Wannstedt said. "I've got all the confidence in Marcus, if he's the guy. I've got all the confidence in the world in Marcus."

It's no big secret that Spriggs was very upset about being bumped from the starting lineup when the Dolphins decided to shuffle their offensive line. The way Spriggs sees it, this is a great opportunity to show the Dolphins and the rest of the NFL he is starter material.

"I just want to look good on film," Spriggs said. "You never know where it's going to take me. You never know what it's going to look like down the line. You always want to look good on film."

Spriggs said he felt a little rusty after entering Sunday's game, but figures a week of practice with the first-team offense will be a great help.

"I was a little questionable on a few plays," Spriggs said, "but I'm looking forward to a full week of working with the starters, getting the calls down, getting the technique down, getting back to work."


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