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Thursday, October 2, 2008
Dolphins couldn't be healthier


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins have released 11 injury reports. Ten of them have been completely blank. The lone exception listed one player, cornerback Michael Lehan, as questionable with an ankle injury the Friday before the season opener.

Pardon me for being skeptical, but a blank report after one month of training camp, four preseason exhibitions and three regular-season games, prompted a question.

I asked Dolphins coach Tony Sparano if he was an opposing coach, would he believe a totally clean injury report.

"I don't care whether they believe it or not," Sparano replied. "They can watch our practice tapes.

"Whenever I'm getting ready to play, and I look at the injury report one way or the other, I always assume that everybody is going to be playing. So I assume that everybody is going to be playing, and we prepare that way."

As for any disbelief of Miami's injury reports, Sparano said "I could care less right now. We got a healthy team, thank God." He added the obligatory knuckle rap on the wooden lectern.

They're definitely healthier than they were in 2007.

The Dolphins did have to place one player on injured reserve since the season began. Rookie guard Donald Thomas suffered a foot injury in Week 1. They placed tight end Aaron Halterman and linebacker Kelvin Smith (two players who would have had outside shots at making the 53-man roster) on IR during training camp.

At this time last year, the Dolphins had only four players on IR, but they finished October with eight players on the list. At the end of the season, the Dolphins had 15 players on IR.

No wonder among the first moves football operations boss Bill Parcells made after assuming office was firing the strength-and-conditioning coaches.