Injury Bug Again Bites Ex-Jet Pennington
MIAMI (AP) — As they received treatment for injuries, Chad Pennington and Chad Henne watched the fourth quarter of the Miami Dolphins’ game together on a locker room TV, rooting for replacement Tyler Thigpen.
“Chad and I were in here calling out the plays, and Tyler was making the right plays,” Henne said. “He did a really good job.”
That he did. The game took a heavy toll on quarterbacks, but Thigpen stood tall at the end, helping Miami beat the Tennessee Titans 29-17 on Sunday.
Pennington sustained a right shoulder injury that could be career-ending, and Henne was on crutches after the game with a left knee injury. Thigpen — summoned for the first time this season — led an 85-yard touchdown drive for the game’s final points.
“I knew I had to take advantage of my opportunity to help my team win,” Thigpen said. “It wasn’t about my stats; it was about getting us in the end zone and winning the game.”
Miami (5-4) snapped a five-game home losing streak, including three losses this season.
“Man, it’s a big win,” Dolphins cornerback Vontae Davis said. “We’re still in the thick of things.”
The Titans (5-4) lost coming off a bye for the first time in five years, and they fell a game behind first-place Indianapolis in the AFC South. Newcomer Randy Moss failed to provide a spark, waiting more than 55 minutes to make his only catch.
“I felt comfortable out there, but I don’t think I had a very good overall game,” Moss said. “It’s back to the drawing board, and come back next week.”
Kerry Collins started at quarterback for the Titans and struggled through the first half before departing with a calf injury. Vince Young replaced him despite a sprained left ankle and threw for only 92 yards with two turnovers.
Afterward, Young said his ankle was sore.
“You’ve got to fight through pain,” he said. “My number was called. Kerry went down, so I had to go and try to win the game. That’s what I tried to do.”
Pennington’s return lasted two plays before he left with another injury to his troublesome right shoulder. Promoted when Henne was benched during the week, Pennington hadn’t played since a shoulder injury ended his 2009 season in Game 3.
“For him to have another shoulder problem, it’s tough,” Henne said. “I’m sure he’s going to have some decisions to make when he finds out what’s going on.”
Miami led 20-17 when Henne injured his knee late in the third quarter when he was hit while attempting a pass. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI exam and said his knee hurt.
“We’re stuck with this situation,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”
Thigpen, summoned for the first time this year, went 4 for 6 for 64 yards and a score. Miami plays again Thursday against Chicago, and the short week increases the likelihood Thigpen will start the next game.
“I have no clue,” he said. “We’re going to enjoy this victory for about 12 hours, and then we’re going to come to work and get ready for the game.”
Desperate to spark an offense ranked last in the AFC in scoring, the Dolphins tried a fake punt and two flea-flickers, including one with receiver Brandon Marshall throwing deep. They also revived the wildcat, which netted 49 yards in seven snaps after being dormant most of the season.
“We wanted to try to put the pedal down a little,” Miami coach Tony Sparano said.
Meanwhile, the Titans sputtered regardless of the quarterback. Two turnovers led to Miami touchdowns, and Young threw an interception in the end zone trying to rally Tennessee in the final minutes.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.