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A (short) tale of the tailbacks

One of the questions that remains unanswered on the eve of the Miami Dolphins' regular-season opener is how effective rookie running back Daniel Thomas will be and how much the club will need backup-to-the-backup Larry Johnson behind him.

The reason this is important is the Dolphins cannot hope to rely on Reggie Bush to carry the football 25 times per game, regardless of what anyone in the organization insists. The second reason this is important is that Thomas didn't have a good preseason.

The third reason is the Dolphins didn't really want either Ricky Williams or Ronnie Brown back this season.

We'll soon see about Thomas, who is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury for tomorrow's game against New England. I would estimate that even if he is active for the game, the Dolphins cannot be completely sure he'll be able to finish. So I would expect Larry Johnson to be active. It will work as insurance in case Thomas suffers another tweak to his hamstring.

Meanwile, both Brown and Williams have moved on and have already begun their 2011 seasons. They've done it with different degrees of success.

Ronnie Brown rushed four times for 7 yards in his Philadelphia Eagles debut.

Ricky Williams gained 63 yards on 12 carries, including a 26-yard run for the Baltimore Ravens.

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