Dolphins RB Brown to miss Panthers game with foot injury

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown will miss Thursday night's game at Carolina because of an injured right foot, and his status for the rest of the regular season is uncertain.

The Dolphins' leading rusher was to see a specialist for further evaluation, coach Tony Sparano said Tuesday. Brown was hurt in Sunday's win over Tampa Bay.

Kirwan: Dolphins not ready

Are the Dolphins a playoff team? senior analyst Pat Kirwan tackled that topic during his weekly live chat.

"I think they will struggle to make the playoffs this year. I like where they are headed, and Chad Henne will be a very good QB in this league. But they're not ready. At 4-5, I would say not this season."  **Transcript ...**

Ricky Williams will replace Brown and start for the first time this season. He'll also become the primary triggerman if the Dolphins run the wildcat formation.

"Who knows? May not even run it," a coy Sparano said. "Never know."

The game is the first Brown has missed since his season-ending knee injury in 2007.

At 32, Williams has rushed for 558 yards and is averaging a career-best 5.3 yards per carry.

"The guy takes tremendous care of himself," Sparano said. "This guy has worked like crazy for the year and a half that we've been here. Watching him work the way he works, you wouldn't think he's 30-plus years old."

The 1998 Heisman Trophy winner and 2002 NFL rushing champion has avoided the media for much of this season but spoke to them briefly Tuesday about starting.

"It's my job right now," he said. "Obviously I'll have to carry the ball a little bit more."

Tight end Anthony Fasano (hip) didn't practice Tuesday for Miami (4-5). Guard Justin Smiley (shoulder) and safety Gibril Wilson (hamstring) were limited, as were two reserves, nose tackle Paul Soliai (ankle) and linebacker Erik Walden (hamstring).

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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