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Dolphins WR Marshall's recovery from hamstring injury is slow

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall didn't practice Wednesday because of a hamstring injury, raising questions as to whether or not he'll play Sunday at Oakland.

"It's a little slower thing than I'd like it to be, or Brandon would like it to be," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said of Marshall's recovery.

Marshall wasn't available for comment Wednesday.

Miami also has a quarterback question because Sparano hasn't named a starter. Tyler Thigpen and Chad Henne took snaps with the first team Wednesday.

Those are two major issues for a 5-5 Dolphins team that probably must win its remaining six games to have an outside shot at a playoff berth.

Marshall, the Dolphins' big offensive free-agent acquisition, is seventh in the NFL in receptions and 16th in receiving yards. He has 58 receptions for 693 yards and one touchdown this season.

Despite Sparano's uncertainty, Thigpen made it sound like Marshall won't play against the Raiders.

"With Brandon being out, I think that's going to leave a lot more 1-on-1 matchups that we're going to have to win," he said.

Without Marshall, the Dolphins are left with a relatively pedestrian receiving corps of Brian Hartline, Davone Bess and rookies Marlon Moore and Roberto Wallace, although tight end Anthony Fasano is certainly capable.

Thigpen was the Dolphins' third-string quarterback two weeks ago, but injuries to Henne (knee) and Chad Pennington (shoulder) made Thigpen a starter in last week's 16-0 loss to the Chicago Bears. But Thigpen threw two interceptions against the Bears, and Henne is on the mend, so the starting job is up for grabs.

"I feel pretty good," said Henne, who suffered his injury during a 29-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 14. "I've been rehabbing, and it's been going better each and everyday. I haven't had any setbacks. Right now, I don't know where it is, but I'm practicing and it's getting better."

There has been other good news related to the Dolphins' injuries. Center Joe Berger, who missed the Chicago game with a knee injury, returned to practice. That means right guard Richie Incognito can stay put this week. Left tackle Jake Long (left shoulder), who wears a protective harness, practiced, and it appears that he'll start Sunday.

Miami had given up just 12 sacks heading into the Chicago game, then surrendered six sacks to the Bears.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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