Dolphins shelve WR Hartline for season, promote TE Epps

The Miami Dolphins must go the rest of the way without emerging wide receiver Brian Hartline.

The team placed the second-year pro on season-ending injured reserve Saturday, five days after he underwent surgery on a finger. Hartline suffered the injury during the Dolphins' 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns last Sunday.

Hartline set career highs in receptions (43) and yards (615) this season and started in 11 games. He had been a favorite target of Miami quarterbacks in recent weeks, having one catch of at least 24 yards in six consecutive games before Sunday.

The Ohio State product was absent from practice all week as the Dolphins (6-6) prepared for a must-win road game against the AFC East rival New York Jets (9-3).

It was believed earlier in the week that Hartline could return before the end of the season, but the Dolphins ultimately opted to go in the other direction.

With Hartline on the shelf, the Dolphins hope wide receiver Brandon Marshall can return to face the Jets. Marshall missed the previous two games with a groin injury and is listed as questionable on Miami injury report.

To replace Hartline on the roster, the Dolphins signed tight end Dedrick Epps.

Epps, a rookie, spent time on the Dolphins' practice squad before being called up to the active roster. Originally a seventh-round selection (235th overall) in the 2010 draft by the San Diego Chargers, Epps attended the University of Miami, where he recorded 49 receptions for 634 yards and six touchdowns.

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