BACK IN ACTION

The Dolphins have been waiting for a while to get back to the field after their disappointing loss to the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 20. They get their chance Monday night against one of the best teams in the league, the Green Bay Packers.

The Dolphins enter the game with a 5-2 record and have a chance to increase their lead in the AFC East after Buffalo's loss to New England on Sunday.

But it obviously a difficult challenge that awaits the Dolphins. At 6-1, Green Bay has the best record in the entire league.

One factor that could become huge before the end of the game is the status of Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre, who is expected to start the game despite minor ligament damage in his left knee.

What follows is a glance at the Dolphins-Packers matchup:

WHO: Miami Dolphins (5-2) vs. Green Bay Packers (6-1)

WHEN: Monday, 9 p.m. ET

WHERE: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis.

TV: ABC (Al Michaels, play-by-play; John Madden, analysis; Melissa Starke, sidelines)

LINE: Green Bay by 4

NFL RANKINGS: Dolphins 13th in NFL in total offense; 6th in rushing offense; 21st in passing offense; tied-13th in total defense; 8th in rushing defense; 21st in passing defense

Packers 7th in NFL in total offense; 12th in rushing offense; 6th in passing offense; 11th in total defense; 24th in rushing defense; 9th in passing defense

COACHES: Dolphins, Dave Wannstedt (3rd year with team); Packers, Mike Sherman (3rd year)

SERIES RECORD: Dolphins lead 9-1

LAST FIVE MEETINGS: 2000 at Miami, Dolphins 28, Packers 20

1997 at Green Bay, Packers 23, Dolphins 18

1994 at Milwaukee, Dolphins 24, Packers 14

1991 at Miami, Dolphins 16, Packers 13

1989 at Miami, Dolphins 23, Packers 20

INJURIES: Dolphins — QB Jay Fiedler (thumb) is out; T Mark Dixon (ankle) and S Trent Gamble (groin) are questionable; DE David Bowens (knee), DT Tim Bowens (knee), RB Robert Edwards (knee), QB Ray Lucas (ribs/hip), TE Randy McMichael (foot), G Todd Perry (abdomen), LB Twan Russell (knee), CB Patrick Surtain (knee) and Ricky Williams (toe) are probable.

Packers — T Chad Clifton (knee), S Antuan Edwards (arm), DE Vonnie Holliday (chest) and CB Mike McKenzie (are questionable); RB Najeh Davenport (hamstring), QB Brett Favre (knee) and S Darren Sharper (hamstring) are probable.


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