Dolphins' Smiley skips practice to have shoulder examined by doctor

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins starting guard Justin Smiley was sent to a doctor Thursday and remains sidelined because of a shoulder injury, increasing the likelihood that he will miss this weekend's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Also sitting out practice for a second consecutive day were Dolphins outside linebacker Joey Porter (knee), nose tackle Paul Soliai (ankle) and special-teams contributor Erik Walden (hamstring).

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Tight end Anthony Fasano was limited for a second consecutive day because of a hip injury.

Smiley, who has started all eight games for Miami this season, has a history of shoulder problems. He missed the half of the 2007 season with the San Francisco 49ers because of a shoulder injury.

"Justin has done a good job while he's been in there," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. "If he doesn't play in the game, the next guy is going to have to be ready to go."

Possibilities to replace Smiley at left guard Sunday against the Bucs include Joe Berger, Nate Garner and rookie Lydon Murtha.

Porter has been bothered for most of the season by a hamstring injury, which forced him to sit out an Oct. 4 game against the Buffalo Bills. If Porter can't play against Tampa Bay, his place in the starting lineup figures to be taken by Charlie Anderson. The Dolphins also could move Jason Taylor from strong-side linebacker to weak-side linebacker and insert Matt Roth into the starting lineup.

Roth started every game at the position last season, but he has been coming off the bench in 2009 after missing the first six games while on the non-football injury list.

While the Dolphins could be down at least a couple of starters, they will welcome back two others who missed last weekend's game at New England because of injuries. Linebacker Channing Crowder (shoulder) and nose tackle Jason Ferguson (elbow) have practiced this week and don't appear on Miami's injury report.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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