Sparano to the injured: 'Nobody feels sorry for you'

November, 19, 2008
11/19/08
10:08
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins have been criticized for their unpopulated injury reports. They issued another blank report Wednesday for their game against the New England Patriots, and no injuries to list in Week 12 seems rather dubious.

The more we learn about rookie head coach Tony Sparano, however, the more we understand.

Injury reports are less a descriptive rundown of injured players than, depending on the day provided, involvement in practice or the likelihood a player will suit up.

In Sparano's world, you practice and you play through pain. If you can't go, you're headed to injured reserve.

"Nobody feels sorry for you one way or the other," Sparano said. "The Patriots don't feel sorry for us. We really don't feel sorry for them.

"So at the end of this if you are hurt and truly hurt, that is one thing. If you are bumped up, nicked up, whatever it is -- there's a pretty good chance there is a lot of people in this league that are nicked up, hurt whatever it is -- they have to play.

"So the message is simple: If you want to go to heaven you have to die to get there. If you are in some of those situations you want to get to where you're going to be, well, you got to play hurt."

Most notable on the Patriots' injury list are four players who didn't practice Wednesday: running back LaMont Jordan (calf), linebacker Adalius Thomas (forearm), linebacker Eric Alexander (hamstring) and cornerback Jonathan Wilhite (sick). Defensive end Richard Seymour (toe) was limited.

The New York Jets, who will play the unbeaten Tennessee Titans, went without linebacker David Harris (groin) and safety Eric Smith (head). Receiver Laveranues Coles (thigh), linebacker Jason Trusnik (knee) and kicker Mike Nugent (thigh) were limited.

The Buffalo Bills, who will visit the Kansas City Chiefs, missed five defensive players in practice: defensive end Aaron Schobel (foot), linebacker Marcus Buggs (ankle), cornerback Jabari Greer (knee) and safeties Bryan Scott (knee) and Donte Whitner (shoulder).

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