BIG WEEK FOR TAYLOR

Jason Taylor will remember this week for a lot more than Christmas or the fact that he won another award for his outstanding season.

Like rookie guard Seth McKinney last week, Taylor became a father, making Zach Thomas an uncle in the process.

Taylor's wife, Thomas' sister Katina, gave birth to a baby boy (Isaiah) on Monday night.

"It's settled in a little bit, but not totally," Taylor said earlier this week. "It's amazing. It's simply amazing the way God made the whole process work, and watching the baby come out. Being able to be there and deliver it was something. My wife, Katina, is something else. People talk about playing through a knee injury and a groin. Please. I'm a wimp. She is the toughest person I ever met in my life."

Taylor, indeed, has been playing hurt this season, the latest injury a groin strain he sustained in Saturday's loss at Minnesota.

He is listed as probable on the Dolphins' official injury report, but will be in the lineup as he tries to make a run at Michael Strahan's NFL record of 22.5 sacks in a season.

But that won't be easy for Taylor, who has a league-leading 18.5 sacks. The sacks, along with seven forced fumbles, were the biggest reason the NFL Alumni Association named Taylor as the Defensive Lineman of the Year for 2002.

As for the record, Taylor knows it's a long shot, but he also only needs to look at Green Bay's Vonnie Holliday getting five sacks last Sunday against Buffalo to realize it's not impossible.

"I need a Vonnie Holliday day," Taylor said. "What better week to have one than this week. We'll see what happens. If I go out there and don't have any and we win the game, then I'll be happier than Michael was.

"Obviously, I need to go out there and makes some plays to help this team win, and I look forward to doing it. I'll hit the hotel Saturday and get some rest, because I won't I won't get any the rest of the week. You know me, I'll be ready to go Sunday."


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