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Dolphins' Pennington suffered dislocated throwing shoulder

DAVIE, Fla. -- A person familiar with Chad Pennington's injury condition says the Miami Dolphins quarterback dislocated his shoulder.

Pennington underwent tests Monday on his injured right shoulder, and now may seek a second opinion to determine how long he'll be sidelined, said the person, who requested anonymity because the Dolphins have said little about the injury.

The person said Pennington's shoulder was dislocated in Sunday's 23-13 loss at San Diego, and tests will determine whether there was damage to the rotator cuff. An operation on the shoulder would be Pennington's third since 2005.

Other media outlets reported Pennington had a torn capsule and was likely to miss the rest of the season.

"We don't have a comment, because the evaluation process is still ongoing," team spokesman Harvey Greene said.

Coach Tony Sparano said Monday he didn't know how long Pennington will be sidelined.

"I can't rule anything out," Sparano said. "I really don't know the details. ... We're trying to gather a little bit more information."

Pennington has already had surgery on the same shoulder in 2004 and 2005.

So, some teammates anticipate Chad Henne, who went 10 for 19 for 92 yards with an interception, will make his first NFL start Sunday when the winless Dolphins play host to Buffalo.

"We're going to have to go out there with Henne, who is a lot less experienced," tight end Anthony Fasano said. "There is definitely going to be a learning curve for Henne. He can learn as much as he wants in a classroom, but until he's out on the field, in-game experience he's not going to learn.

"But we have a lot of faith in Chad. He's a smart guy, a great leader and fun to play with. We're just going to have to move on."

A second-round draft choice in 2008, Henne has been considered Pennington's heir apparent for more than a year. The challenge for the offense will be to develop a chemistry with Henne, receiver Greg Camarillo said.

"Chad (Pennington) is our leader," Camarillo said. "Any injury to him is an injury to our offense. But it's also an opportunity for Henne to step up. We've got faith in his quarterbacking abilities. It's time for him to show it off."

Pennington was injured on a hit by linebacker Kevin Burnett as he threw a pass. The injury appeared to occur with the contact, which caught Pennington in an awkward position, rather than when he hit the ground, Sparano said.

"Kind of a weird-looking deal," Sparano said.

Linebacker Joey Porter, nursing a sore right hamstring, also was unable to finish the game because the muscle tightened. Sparano said Porter will be further evaluated this week.

The injuries are another blow for a team rapidly regressing after a great leap forward in 2008, when the Dolphins improved their victory total by 10 games and won the AFC East. Now they're 0-3, and only three teams since 1990 have gone to the playoffs after such a slow start.

Sparano said lineup changes are possible.

"I told this team yesterday, it's not OK to be 0-3," he said. "It's not acceptable. If there's a place where we can shake some things up, we will."

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