NFL Nation: Shawn Murphy

Colts-Dolphins inactives

September, 21, 2009

Posted by's Tim Graham

MIAMI -- The Indianapolis Colts have scratched safety Bob Sanders for Monday night's game in Land Shark Stadium, while the Miami Dolphins have deactivated the same eight players as they did in Week 1.

Dolphins rookie Pat White will be the second quarterback again so he can run Wildcat plays without concern over the third-quarterback rule.

Indianapolis Colts

Note: It originally was announced in the press box defensive end Keyunta Dawson, and not Moala, was inactive.

Miami Dolphins

Posted by's Tim Graham

The Miami Dolphins have designated Chad Henne as their No. 3 quarterback for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons, even though he's really their primary backup to Chad Pennington.


Rookie quarterback Pat White actually is third on the depth chart, but if the Dolphins wanted to use him in any Wildcat schemes, they wouldn't have been able to put him on the field had they not declared Henne the No. 3.

I addressed this scenario in May, a few days after the Dolphins used a second-round draft pick to select White out of West Virginia. The Dolphins announced their intentions right away to keep the scrambler at quarterback and not convert him to receiver, as other teams were considering.

Here's what I wrote then:
In 1991, the NFL instituted a third-quarterback rule that allows teams to have an emergency quarterback in case the first two get hurt. This was done because teams had been trying to maximize their 45-man rosters by riskily carrying only two quarterbacks and keeping an extra player who could contribute on special teams.

The third quarterback doesn't count toward the 45-man roster, but if he is inserted into the game before the fourth quarter, then the first two quarterbacks are not allowed to go back in at any position.

That means the Dolphins would have to designate Henne their third quarterback so White could get on the field in the Wildcat.
There were some other notable decisions among the Dolphins' inactives. They scratched outside linebacker Cameron Wake, receiver Patrick Turner and guard Shawn Murphy.

Wake is the much-discussed Canadian Football League import who registered 39 sacks over the past two seasons with the BC Lions. He apparently hasn't adjusted to the NFL fast enough.

Turner, a third-round pick out of Southern California, was Mark Sanchez's top target last year.

Murphy, a fourth-round draft pick last year, still hasn't dressed for a game. The son of former baseball star Dale Murphy was given a shot to be the starting right guard in training camp, but Donald Thomas took it back.
Posted by's Tim Graham

Some observations from the Miami Dolphins' entertaining 27-17 home victory over the Carolina Panthers on Saturday night:

The Wildcat was called, but the plays were reruns. The Dolphins ran five Wildcat plays, but none revealed anything new. They were the same plays we watched last year, including a long flea-flicker pass from Chad Pennington to Patrick Cobbs. Dolphins coach Tony Sparano probably won't show off any new wrinkles. We didn't see rookie quarterback Pat White try it out.

Rookie cornerback Vontae Davis rebounded. With last week's right-side starter Sean Smith sidelined by illness, Davis got the start and played essentially the entire game.

Davis was called for three penalties in the preseason opener, but was effectively aggressive Saturday. He snuffed running back Mike Goodson for a 4-yard loss on a dump pass at the end of the first quarter and was all over receiver Jason Carter for a 2-yard loss in the third quarter.

"It just was a blessing to bounce back from penalties and stuff like that," Davis said. "I just feel great about my play today."

Ronnie Brown looked terrific. On Miami's six-play opening drive, Brown ran for 3, 10 and 12 yards and finished it off with a 28-yard catch and run for a touchdown. He caught the ball around the 15-yard line and made a sweet move that made safety Chris Harris look foolish. Brown didn't do much while handling all five Wildcat plays, but all in all he was in mid-season form.

After a sensational game last week, Miami's most talented receiver was Ginnvisible. In the preseason opener, the Dolphins made sure Ted Ginn was involved heavily. Pennington threw at Ginn five times in the first quarter. Ginn was responsible for four first downs, including one on a 14-yard reverse.

On Saturday, Pennington threw to Ginn once for an incompletion. That was all. Ginn didn't have a catch or a yard all night.

Dan Carpenter got the juicier opportunity in the kicking battle. Carpenter, the second-year incumbent, made a 41-yard attempt. Free-agent contender Connor Barth made a 21-yard attempt but was used on two extra points.

Donald Thomas probably has sewn up the right guard job. Thomas appears to have regained his position after the Dolphins gave Shawn Murphy a shot at it. Thomas, fully recovered from a torn pectoral muscle, started against the Panthers and played well.

Ravens-Dolphins inactives

January, 4, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

MIAMI -- No surprises on the inactive list for Sunday's wild-card playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins.

Baltimore Ravens

Miami Dolphins

Posted by's Tim Graham

MIAMI -- I'm getting settled in the Dolphin Stadium press box, but here are a few pregame observations for Sunday afternoon.

  • In a rare Saturday injury-report update, the Dolphins added quarterback Chad Pennington because of a foot problem. He's listed as probable.
  • Pennington just emerged from the tunnel, and after chatting with Raiders quarterbacks Andrew Walter and Marques Tuiasosopo, broke into a jog. Pennington's right foot seems tender. He has a bit of a limp. If he's taped, then the wrap is underneath his sock. No added support is visible.
  • Neither Chad Henne nor John Beck seemed to have any added edge while going through their pregame warm-ups.
  • A Henne appearance would be intriguing. Not saying that's going to happen, but the 2008 Raiders would be a nice opponent to face in your first full NFL game.
  • Disappointing Dolphins rookie guard Shawn Murphy might make his NFL debut -- or at least dress for the first time. The fourth-round draft pick has been buried on the depth chart and a healthy scratch in each of Miami's first nine games.
  • The Dolphins on Saturday placed guard Matt McChesney on injured reserve and signed linebacker Rob Ninkovich off the practice squad.