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Bills preparation begins with Long, minus Crowder

The Dolphins are working out today, with an 11 a.m. practice, and the view during the open media session offered both a bit of good news and bad.

The good news is that, as expected, offensive tackle Jake Long is practicing. Long suffered a knee injury in the preseason finale and there was some question about his availability for the regular-season opener against Buffalo.

The fact he is working, at least on a limited basis, suggests he will indeed play against the Bills.

The news on Channing Crowder is not quite so positive. Miami's starting inside linebacker is still not practicing today. He was off to the side doing rehabilitation work for what has been reported as an abdomen injury.

The injury report will be out later today and we'll have a full update on that once it is in, including the details of Crowder's injury.

Finally, no surprise in that the Dolphins announced the signing of kick returner Clifton Smith. Smith is a former NFC Pro Bowl special teams player as a kick returner. He averaged 27.6 yards per return for Tampa Bay that year. He had a 97 yard KO return TD and a 70-yard punt return TD that year.

Smith is in his third season. He was cut by the Bucs  after he spent the end of last year on the injured reserve list with concussion problems.

The Dolphins cut offensive lineman Joe Reitz to make room for Smith on the roster. Reitz was with Miami two days.

By the way, Bill Parcells was at practice today. It was in the bubble and Parcells was at his usual chair along the sideline one day after he stepped back from the executive vice president job and became a consultant.

Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey was just on conference call here and was asked what effect the Bill Parcells change would have on the Dolphins and he doesn't really buy Miami will be affected at all. "At 1 o'clock on Sunday it will be a moot point," Gailey said.

[Blog update: Check back later for a full update of what happens in the locker room and during the Tony Sparano press conference.]

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