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Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Dolphins rummaging for O-linemen already


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

When the Miami Dolphins drafted G Donald Thomas in the sixth round, nobody could have imagined that playing without him would be so discouraging.

But Thomas, a raw prospect from UConn who didn't play organized football until his sophomore year and didn't start until he was a senior, won a starting job early in training camp and started Sunday's season opener against the New York Jets. But he injured his left foot during the game.

Now Thomas is done for the year, and an offensive line that gave up four sacks and produced 49 rushing yards Sunday is even weaker.

A day after waiving FB Boomer Grigsby, the Dolphins placed Thomas on injured reserve and signed former Carolina Panthers G Evan Mathis.

The Dolphins can't be thrilled with the switch. Despite Thomas' inexperience, the coaching staff was high on him. Mathis started 15 games in 2006, but the former third-round draft choice fell out of favor last year. He was inactive for 12 games and played in only one. He was among Carolina's final cuts.

Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning and line coach Mike Maser held the same roles with the Panthers while Mathis was there.

Miami also has fourth-round pick Shawn Murphy. The son of former baseball star Dale Murphy was inactive Sunday.