AFC East Update: Dolphins' Henne A Tough Nut

The Miami Dolphins may be 0-4, but their quarterback isn't ready to throw in the towel. Henne showing the kind of toughness that will draw respect from teammates and foes alike.

Henne believes he can play through left shoulder injury

   The Miami Dolphins will attempt to address many problem points during their bye week.

   There are issues to fix on defense, particularly in pass coverage. There are issues to address on offense, particularly the continued struggles to score touchdowns in the red zone.

   And now there's more uncertainty for a team that already has plenty to worry about. Quarterback Chad Henne suffered a left shoulder injury during his team's 26-16 loss to the Chargers on Sunday.

   Henne left the game in the first quarter after he gained 1 yard and ran into several defenders during a broken play. His backup, Matt Moore, entered and performed admirably, leading the Dolphins on their first -- and only -- touchdown drive.

   Moore completed 17 of his 26 attempts for 167 yards, throwing an interception that ended the Dolphins' final drive. Though Moore had some nice moments, he didn't play well enough to make up for the loss of Henne, who's had early-season success.

   Henne wanted to return to the game, he said, but doctors told him he'd face too much risk by re-entering. After Henne finished up his postgame interviews, a member of the Dolphins' training staff helped Henne's left (non-throwing) arm into a sling.

   Henne said shoulder injuries are nothing new to him. He told reporters about how he'd played with an injured shoulder during his high school career, and also during his college days at Michigan.

   "I've done it before. I expect to do it," said Henne, who has a 79.0 passer rating after four games. "Put me in the shotgun."

   Henne dismissed the notion that he could miss extended time because of the injury. He was scheduled to undergo tests Monday after the team returned from San Diego.

   "One thing is I'm tough," Henne said, "and things like this won't hinder me."

   He seemed less concerned about his long-term health Sunday than he did about the Dolphins' fourth consecutive loss. Henne watched the majority of it from the sideline, and from his vantage point, he saw the same mistakes.

   "We're not all doing the right things," Henne said. "It's just all taking responsibility for our job and doing our job to the best of our ability each play."

   When the Dolphins return from their bye week to play at the New York Jets on Monday, Oct. 17, Henne is hoping he has the chance to be on the field, doing his job, despite his injury.


   TRENDING: Big plays -- both a lack of them on offense and allowing too many on defense -- continue to hurt the Dolphins. On Sunday, the Chargers ran five plays that gained at least 20 yards. Three of those were pass plays that went for at least 40 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown pass from Philip Rivers to a wide-open Vincent Jackson.

   LINEUP WATCH: After missing the first two games of the season, rookie H-back Charles Clay made his debut Sept. 25 during the Dolphins' loss at Cleveland. However, he made his first real contribution Sunday against the Chargers. Clay caught his first NFL pass and finished with two catches for 34 yards. He caught both of the passes for which he was targeted.

   --CB Sean Smith was beaten on a 55-yard touchdown pass from Philip Rivers to Vincent Jackson. Smith bit on a double move and became entangled with S Yeremiah Bell, allowing Jackson to be wide open.

   --C Mike Pouncey left the game briefly in the second half with what appeared to be a left knee injury. He limped off but then returned for the next series.

   --WR Brandon Marshall continues to have problems holding onto passes. He dropped two more Sunday against the Chargers. Both passes would have been for first downs, and one, he said, could have gone for a touchdown. He finished with five catches for 52 yards.

   --WR Davone Bess had his best punt return of the season against the Chargers. It went for 22 yards and set up a field goal for the Dolphins.

   --PK Dan Carpenter had his best game of the season. He made all three of his field-goal attempts, including a 51-yarder.

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