- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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DAVIE Fla. -- New Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace isn't enjoying his brief time on the sideline. He's been held out of the past two practices for what Wallace described as a groin injury, although the Dolphins haven't confirmed the injury.
Wallace called it a "small setback" and is optimistic about his chances of playing in Sunday's Hall of Fame game against the Dallas Cowboys.
"[I want to play] bad. This is a new situation for me," Wallace said after Thursday's practice. "So I want to get out there and just feel it out. I want to feel out this new situation and be with my new teammates and have a great time."
Miami's starters will play only a series or two in the first of five preseason games. But this is a chance for the Dolphins, and players such as Wallace, to showcase their skills on a national platform. Miami and Dallas are the first two teams to play this preseason.
Wallace signed a five-year, $65 million contract with the Dolphins in the offseason. Wallace and Miami starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill were beginning to hit their stride and make plays together in training camp before Wallace's injury.
"I haven't really practiced the last two days. It's just a small setback," Wallace said. "But I think we're definitely moving in the right direction. It will be fine."
Fellow wide receiver Brian Hartline returned to practice with the Dolphins on a limited basis Thursday afternoon.
Hartline took part only in individual drills. Dolphins coach Joe Philbin has a standing policy of not discussing injuries, but Hartline was wearing a compression sleeve around his left calf Thursday.
Absent from practice Thursday were guards John Jerry and Brian Thomas, along with wide receiver Rishard Matthews. Rookie Caleb Sturgis kicked Wednesday night for the first time in a week and ended the practice by making a 42-yard field goal.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
7hEric D. Williams