Miami Dolphins fans got mixed news on Thursday, as the team hist the practice field in preparation for this Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals. The good news was running back Reggie Bush returning to the practice field, albeit in a limited role, after injuring his knee during last weekend's New York Jets game. The bad news was, cornerback Richard Marshall was forced to miss practice with a back injury.
Marshall's injury initially occurred during the Dolphins' Week 2 game against the Oakland Raiders, but he was not limited by the injury against the Jets. However, he has since re-aggravated his back, leading to his missing practice yesterday.
Marshall starts opposite Sean Smith in the Dolphins' secondary. If Marshall is not able to play against the Cardinals, the Dolphins will likely turn to third year cornerback Nolan Carroll. Carroll has been limited this week in practice due to a sore Achilles tendon. The team is currently only carrying one other corner, third year player R.J. Stanford, who has only appeared on special teams this season.
Standford and Smith were teammates at the University of Utah.
The Dolphins could also rely on cornerback-turned-safety Jimmy Wilson. Wilson played corner last year for Miami, but was converted to safety during the offseason this year, although he has already seen playing time back at corner this year.
The Dolphins will face Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald this weekend. Fitzgerald caught nine passes for 114 yards last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. Smith told the media this week that Fitzgerald is one of the league's five best wide receivers.
"It's definitely a matchup problem," Carroll told the Miami Herald's Adam H. Beasley this week. "We're going to try to match up with him the best we can, scheme-wise, and almost take him out of the game. Or at least try to slow him down."
Carroll continued, "Our coaches have always told us to prepare as [if] we're the starter every single week, and if my number is called, do what I'm supposed to do."
That job may be to cover one of the best wide outs in the league.