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Ronnie out, Porter in versus Panthers

Running back Ronnie Brown will not play versus Carolina on Thursday, according to head coach Tony Sparano. Sparano also said linebacker Joey Porter will play against the Panthers and the coach thinks the linebacker "will start," against the Panthers.

That's what is happening inside the Dolphins at this hour:

Porter, the subject of a Chris Mortensen report in which the ESPN information man said the linebacker will not play against Carolina Thursday, was asked by the Herald's David J. Neal if he saw the report Monday night.

"Yeah, I saw the report," Porter told Neal. "I got no comment on that."

Sparano had a definitive comment. I asked him if there was any doubt in his mind whether Porter would play and Sparano said, "No."

So Porter plays despite a Mortensen report to the contrary.

A Dolphins In Depth report from yesterday that Brown would not play is correct, meanwhile, because Brown went to see a foot specialist today and isn't playing Thursday.

Running back Ricky Williams, expected to start for the Dolphins at running back because Brown is out, agreed to speak to the media for the first time in several weeks today. The reason he agreed is because he was told by the Dolphins if he did not cooperate with the media, he risked being fined.

So Williams complied. Sort of.

The interview:

Q. How does Ronnie's situation impact you workload if he can't go?

A. "Obviously I have to carry the ball a little bit more."

Q. And that would include the Wildcat and taking on that role?

A. "I don't know what the coaches are going to do about it."

Q. Ricky you've always said you're happy sharing time, how do you feel about stepping in and being the guy again. Feel like you can do that?

A. "Yeah."

Q. Well, how do you feel about it?

A. "It's my job right now."

Q. Do your legs feel fresh for the second half compared to the past when you carried the load?

A. "We'll find out."

Q. Ricky, how good would it be to get a victory within the span of such a short period of time.

A. "We're here to win games so I think every game is important we always try to get a win."

Q. Ricky, you've said before you prefer not to throw out of ...

A. "Alright, I'm done. Thank you, guys."

Terrible questions, I know. Thankfully, I didn't ask any of them. And I know you guys will always side with the player over the media, although you depend on the media to give you a view of the players.

But, seriously, does one have to be a total jerk to people trying to do their jobs? It's not like someone asked Williams if he's thought about quitting on the team lately. It's not like someone brought up his multiple positive drug tests.

One thing I can share. Williams is brilliant and does this on purpose. He told a Palm Beach Post reporter earlier this year that he intended to be a jerk to the media this year. Asked why, Williams responded because he wanted to stay out of the newspapers.

So this episode was hardly spontaneous. Williams planned his demeanor, sweetheart that he is.

In other news: Anthony Fasano (hip) didn't practice Tuesday. Justin Smiley (shoulder), Paul Soliai (ankle), Erik Walden (hamstring) and Gibril Wilson (hamstring) were limited in practice.

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