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The math of the Dolphins running back tandem

Yes, Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas will play Sunday. And here's how it should be split if coach Tony Sparano has a favorable situation and the game is going along in an orthodox fashion -- meaning Miami isn't down 27-0 to the Houston Texans as they were the last time the team's played in 2009.

Reggie Bush would be on the field 70-75 percent of the time. Thomas would serve 25-30 percent of the time -- at least initially until the rookie gets acclimated to the NFL game.

"I don't know how the games are going to go so that dictates touches," Sparano said this afternoon. "... But from our end, in a perfect world, I wouldn't mind it being somewhere around 70-30. Somewhere to that effect, where Reggie's ability on third down is a factor and we get Daniel going a little bit. And then at the end of the game we see which one has a hot hand."

The issue has been on Sparano's mind because Bush got every carry by a Dolphins runner against New England save two -- both carries that went to Lex Hilliard. That is not the way to keep Bush healthy and fresh.

"Obviously I didn't take Reggie out of the game last game," Sparano said. "So in a perfect situation, 70-75 percent of the time you keep Reggie in there. You use somebody else 25 percent of the time early on in this thing until you grow him a little bit and see how they handle this. That would be good for Reg."

Obviously, the Dolphins aren't comfortable simply thrusting Thomas in there. Obviously, he hasn't exploded onto the scene, suggesting the team must use him as much as possible as soon as possible. So the Dolphins will work him him slowly.

And Sparano, meanwhile, will be on the lookout for other players that perhaps played too many downs against New England but can't keep up that pace:

"I have to do a little bit better job of play counts of a few guys," he said. "We have to get some plays off of them. Otherwise it ends up being a long season."

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