« Dolphins begin preparations for Atlanta | Main | Start of the College Weekend... »

B-r-r-r-ing in the double...

Armando's out. You're stuck with David J. for the next few days. Sorry if that upsets you. But if you've got the time, energy and lack of real problems to be upset about it, consider yourself blessed by the Supreme Being (whatever your faith calls it). Like the Dolphins, we'll be vague about Armando's injury until NFL rules make us do otherwise.

Speaking of injuries, the first injury report of the week is out. Cornerback Vontae Davis is listed as participating fully in practice with his gimpy knee. Davis didn't appear in the locker room today after several reporters noticed him doing the Fred Sanford limp out of the locker room Monday.

For Atlanta, defensive end John Abraham had limited participation with a knee problem. Safety William Moore was out of practice with a hamstring injury. Running back Jerious Norwood (knee), center Todd McClure (calf), linebacker Tony Gilbert (hamstring) and defensive end Chauncey Davis (foot) participated in all of practice.

Tight end Davon Drew, whom the Dolphins picked up off waivers from Baltimore, has been waived/injured. Drew was hampered by ankle problems, especially early in the Ravens' training camp. The Dolphins signed offensive lineman Nate Garner, who can play tackle and guard and was a late Dolphins cut last weekend. Sparano said only that Drew was injured and the resigning of Garner gives them another backup lineman who can fill in at a number of spots.

Number changes, for those into that sort of thing: Quentin Moses went from 74 to 93, Vontae Davis went from 24 to 21 and Sean Smith went from 31 to 24.

Captains have been selected. No surprises: Joey Porter, Jason Taylor, Jason Ferguson, Chad Pennington.

"It's a sign that they're all old," Tony Sparano joked.

"All four of these guys arrived here at different times in different ways," Sparano continued. "Joey was really the only guy here when I got here. Jason (Taylor) comes back to us. It says a lot that the team would vote Jason as a captain right now. Joey, coming off the year that he had and being one of the people who have been here through the last couple of years. Ferguson is a guy we bring in that the team has voted captain twice. Pennington, he shows up a week into the preseason and he gets voted captain. These guys have come from different places to group together here. The one thread they all have in common is there's great character in those four peope. There really is. Great character, great leadership skills, all in different ways."

Interesting that Sparano, a detail-oriented guy with a very good memory, says that Porter was "really the only guy here when I got here." Sparano was hired Jan. 16. Jason Taylor wasn't traded until July 20. Not that there was ever any estrangement between Edyta's dance partner and The Dolphins Imperial Triumvirate...

Porter admitted, "It means a lot to go out there and have that captain's badge on your jersey. I remember last year watching the guys who had that on their jersey and I wanted to be one of those guys." It reminded me that inside many pro athletes, there's still a little kid who wants acknowledgement and encouragement beyond just the good grade or big paycheck.

Pennington said the most encouraging thing about Jake Long is how badly he wants to get better and how much he hates making mistakes. He's one of the few offensive linemen Pennington's known who apologizes in the huddle when his guy gets to Pennington or almost gets to Pennington. The obvious outsider response to that setup is you hope he actually improves to where such apologies aren't necessary. Long will get a test Sunday. Either the Dolphins will run the ball well enough to stay out of third and long or Long will find himself playing Sheriff Buford T. Justice against John Abraham's Bandit.

There was another huge media scrum around Sean Smith today, his third in the first two days this week. This isn't his fault at all -- Smith's not shy, but it's not like he's standing on a chair and summoning writers, microphones and cameras -- but I wondered, "Gee, what happens if he plays well in a real game?" Modest as his words can be, they can't hide that this is one cocky cornerback who has the talent to match.

OK, I'm headed back to South Beach to get Pollo Tropical for my daughter's dinner. Further bulletins as events warrant.