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Dolphins Could Lose Marino


Miami Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson isn't a doctor, but he's prescribing some R&R for his 38-year-old quarterback. Dan Marino, who was forced to observe Sunday's 31-30 victory against New England from the sideline because of spasms in his right trapezius, will be held out of practice as a precaution until Thursday and could miss a start against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"The doctor right now likes for him not to practice or do anything else until Thursday," Johnson said. "We'll just see what kind of strength he has throwing the football and if he's not 100 percent, Damon Huard will get the start. "

"In all probability Damon will start against the Eagles."

Marino underwent an MRI and CAT scan Monday. Dolphins medical specialist Dr. John Uribe released this statement on Marino's condition: "A small bone spur was identified that I feel has caused a nerve root irritation leading to Dan's muscle spasms and muscle weakness."

Marino first began experiencing spasms last Thursday and didn't throw any on Friday. He received a cortisone shot on Saturday but experienced "tightness" is his throwing shoulder during pregame warm-ups in New England. He played only two series Sunday against the Patriots before pulling himself out of the game.

After an eight-yard completion to Tony Martin, Marino missed badly on his two final attempts -- both severely underthrown. His second attempt was wobbly and returned for a touchdown by Patriots linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer. Marino's third pass couldn't reach wide receiver Oronde Gadsden, who ran a 7-yard pattern.

After that drive, Marino returned to the sideline and told Johnson, "I can't put anything on the ball at all, coach."

Huard then took over and overcame a shaky start of his own to lead the Dolphins (4-1) to the comeback and sole possession of first place in the AFC East. He finished the game with 239 yards and two touchdowns.

Marino received an epidural injection Monday and will continue taking anti-inflammatory medication until at least Thursday.

"He's not in a lot of pain, but he doesn't have strength in his arm," Johnson said.

Marino's lone completion against New England added another record to his resume. He became the first player in NFL history to pass for 60,000 yards. The eight-yard completion put Marino's total to 60,001 for his career. Marino was already the league's all-time leader in attempts (8,13), completions (4,847) and touchdown passes (414).

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