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Latest on Ronnie Brown and Joey Porter

This is what we know at this hour: Barring a dramatic and unexpected recovery by Thursday, running back Ronnie Brown's right ankle and foot injury will keep him out of the game at Carolina, according to a source.

A twitter tweet from Jay Glazer of Fox Sports was the first to reveal the foot injury. A source confirms the Dolphins are concerned about Brown's foot long-term. The ankle injury is a shorter-term issue, the source said.

[UPDATE: The Dolphins have put out an injury report and Brown is indeed on there with a foot injury. The ankle is not listed. Brown did not practice on Monday.]

"The only thing I can tell you about Ronnie right now is that we're still in the middle of gathering information and we probably won't know more until a little later on this evening or first thing tomorrow," coach Tony Sparano said.

Brown was still on crutches today. He was wearing his sneakers and not a protective boot. Brown is not expected to practice Tuesday, either.

Barring a quick recovery by Brown, Lex Hilliard will get a chance to carry the football against Carolina, but the Dolphins are more likely to give Lousaka Polite some extra carries. Ricky Williams would obviously be the starter.

On other matters, Joey Porter spoke the local media today following his one-game deactivation Sunday. He declined to discuss the reasons behind the deactivation. After what was an uncomfortable give and take, several media members lingered around his locker.

"Ya'll going to wait for me to fart or something?" Porter asked.

Then he got into an exchange with a Palm Beach Post reporter who asked why Porter seemed so angry. 

"Did I say something personal to you?" Porter asked.

At that point Dolphins media relations man Harvey Greene stepped in and told the media to disperse.

And the clouds over Porter's sudden deactivation are clearing. According to a club source, one reason Porter was basically shelved Sunday was because his conduct was not what coaches expected throughout the week and including the moment when he was told he would be sharing time with Charlie Anderson.

Sparano and the Dolphins have declined to say specifically why Porter was deactivated.

But the source said coaches "were not happy with Porter's professionalism" in handling his knee injury and the news he would play less.

If Porter rebelled against sharing playing time, he'll simply have to get over it -- because it is going to continue.

"I'll be honest with you and I might have mentioned this after the game," Sparano said, "but our plan going in was to have a rotation. We'll continue to have a rotation and get as many of these guys in the game as we can get in the game. I think [Anderson and Cameron Wake] were both productive yesterday. There's no reason for them not to get in the game and play."

Despite Porter's shelving, despite production that has dropped dramatically, Sparano continues to defend a player who is clearly one of his favorites.

"I see different things Joey does, different things Joey's gotten better at," Sparano said. "Things you guys won't see unless you're watching the film with us.

"I just talked about setting the edge of the defense. I see this guy getting much better with his hands, much better in the run game versus some of these tight ends, the back side of things, retracing plays, all these things, that a year ago, while you're watching him get sacks and you think that's the measuring stick, we're sitting up there saying, 'God I wish he'd play this this way, I wish he'd do things this way.'

"We're starting to get some of those things from him. That's a credit to Joey."

One would expect Sparano to defend his player because he sees the media as being, "on a hunt," as he put it, over Porter. But the coach's defense borders on guileful because it's not the media that has forced Porter's statistics to drop dramatically.

And it's not the media that decided last year's club sack-leader was losing his fulltime gig and had to start sharing snaps with Anderson and Wake.

[ANOTHER UPDATE: TE Anthony Fasano (hip) did not practice Monday. G Justin Smiley (shoulder), NT Paul Soliai (ankle), LB Erik Walden (hamstring) were limited in practice Monday. For the Panthers, T Jordon Gross (broken ankle) is out. S Charles Godfrey (ankle), FB Brad Hoover (ankle), DE Charles Johnson (pectoral), DT Damione Lewis (shoulder) and RB Jonathan Stewart (Achilles) did not practice. TE Dante Rosario (knee) and DE Julius Peppers (hand) were limited in practice.]

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