EARLY POSTING OF WEDNESDAY’S DOLPHINS STORY
The last time Sage Rosenfels wore a Dolphins uniform, he wasn’t merely a backup quarterback. He also was a celebrity for hire, his appearance offered for a fee at high school graduations, corporate events, birthday parties, bar and bat mitzvahs and personal training sessions.
“Want to make your child’s bar mitzvah the talk of the town?” the advertisement read. For a brief time, you could even pay to have Rosenfels join you in your living room to watch Monday Night Football.
Alas, the short-lived “Ultimate Sage Rosenfels Football Experience” – which was largely charity-driven – is no longer available, and hasn’t been since he left Miami after 2005.
But Rosenfels, at 33, is now very much available should something happen to new Dolphins starter Matt Moore. On Tuesday, Rosenfels practiced with the team for the first time since signing last week and “looked good,” coach Tony Sparano said.
“It feels good to be back,” said Rosenfels, who threw for 776 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions in 13 appearances for the Dolphins. “I have some great memories from my four years here. Hopefully, we can add to that.”
A month ago, Rosenfels had trouble simply jogging 10 minutes on a treadmill, his energy depleted by a blood infection that required three hospital stays in August and September when he was a member of the New York Giants. Any lingering effects?
“I’m not in the type of shape I’d like to be, but we all knew that would be the case,” he said. “I haven’t practiced since the middle of training camp and preseason. I’ve got a lot of work to do.”
The condition began with strep throat. “After a while, it started to hit me that I had something pretty serious. It was frustrating that it wasn’t clearing up and I wasn’t improving like I normally have my entire life.”
Rosenfels said he wasn’t surprised the Dolphins called him after Chad Henne’s season-ending injury and after Rosenfels was released by the Giants last week. But he doesn’t come in with the expectation of challenging Moore to start.
“They haven’t said anything but obviously, Matt’s the starter,” Rosenfels said. “I know what that guy can do. He can make plays when there’s nothing there.”
One of the challenges, he said, is “this is one offense I don’t know. I’ve had a lot of coordinators, but I haven’t had Brian Daboll’s style of offense. It’s not like baseball, where you show up and play third base. Quarterbacks, you have to know everything: the line calls with the runs, the audible system. There’s a huge amount of information you have to learn.”
Though becoming a full-time starter has never materialized, Rosenfels – who has 12 NFL starts on his resume - feels good about the career he has forged.
“I didn’t think I was going to play 11 years when I was a fourth-round draft pick,” he said. “I’ve been able to help a team win,… that’s why I’m still playing. I learned a ton from Brett Favre [in Minnesota] two years ago and a ton from Eli Manning this past year and will try to share some of that knowledge with Matt.”
INJURED PLAYERS RETURN
### Defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, who has not played since suffering a hand injury in the opener, returned to practice Tuesday and said he will be ready for Monday’s game at the Jets. He will need to wear covering on his hand – smaller than a cast – for two or three weeks. “I thought I would be back last week,” said McDaniel, who consistently graded out well last season. “It was depressing knowing I was sitting there watching and couldn’t do anything about” the team’s poor start.
### Daniel Thomas (hamstring) and Koa Misi (neck) also returned to practice after missing the San Diego game. Vontae Davis, who missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, continues to practice fully and is on track to play against the Jets. Chris Clemons (hamstring) and Nolan Carroll were the only players limited at practice.
### Asked if he wants to stick with Reshad Jones at starting free safety, Sparano said he’s happy with Jones but would like Chris Clemons to challenge him when he’s fully healthy.
“I’ve been pleased with what Reshad has done,” Sparano said. “He’s made a lot of tackles – too many. I’d like to see him get his hands on more footballs.”
### Denver’s decision to start Tim Tebow for the Broncos’ next game – Oct. 23 at Sun Life Stadium – is not expected to impact the Dolphins’ plans to hold a ceremony honoring the 2008/09 Gators national championship team. Neither Tebow nor Dolphins center and Gator alum Mike Pouncey will be asked to participate in any halftime ceremony. The Dolphins planned the promotion during the summer when it appeared Tebow would be the starter.
### The Dolphins, who were off Friday through Monday as part of the NFL’s bye-week rules, also will be given Wednesday off.