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Iinjury blindsides Dolphins, Marshall out until training camp


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DAVIE, Fla. -- Brandon Marshall milled about the Miami Dolphins practice field, donning an orange cap and sneakers instead of a helmet and cleats.

He'll be doing a lot more of that over the next few weeks.

Marshall is recovering from surgery, the details of which neither he nor Dolphins coach Tony Sparano would disclose Wednesday, when most of the wide receiver's new teammates took part in one of Miami's organized team activity days, or offseason practice. Sparano indicated Marshall would be back for training camp.

"We don't play a game today," Sparano said. "We play a game down the road somewhere. ... No disappointment at all. He's been here for eight weeks now, throwing and catching and doing all the things necessary. I mean, he was throwing and catching the day that the procedure was done. So, not real concerned about it."

Marshall shook off questions about his on-field absence.

"It's definitely frustrating, but you know, some things you can't control," said Marshall, who didn't appear to be wearing any braces or show any other obvious sign of injury. "In my past, I learned that, not to worry myself and hold my head down when I can't control it. I'm just going to do the best I can with the mental reps and prepare myself that way."

As the workout began, Marshall took a spot on an exercise bike set up behind one of the end zones, then joined teammates, often stopping to chat with Ricky Williams, Ronnie Brown and others while following along with the plays and trying to pick up whatever nuances of the offense he could.

"Since the day he showed up here, I thought the way he handled teammates, his introduction to the team, I can remember it like it was yesterday because he came into the weight room ... went around to every player in the room and introduced himself," Sparano said. "I think to players in that room, that meant an awful lot."

Miami sent the Broncos a pair of second-round draft picks for Marshall, then quickly got the receiver to agree on a contract extension. Marshall had 101 catches for 1,120 yards last season for Denver, including an NFL-record 21 catches for 200 yards against Indianapolis in December.

He's the sort of big-play receiver Miami has clamored for, and in time, Marshall plans on showing the Dolphins why he was worth a contract extension that could be worth $50 million.

"Well, when you have someone as dynamic as he is, 1-on-1 coverage and even double coverage take on a whole new idea," Dolphins backup quarterback Chad Pennington said. "When you drop back as a quarterback and you know you have Brandon Marshall out there, you have a chance every time, regardless of what the coverage is."

Maybe the No. 19 Miami jersey is cursed.

That was the number Ted Ginn Jr. wore for his stint with the Dolphins, when he never lived up to the hype that accompanied him after being selected No. 9 overall in the 2007 draft. Ginn was traded to San Francisco last month for a fifth-round pick.

Marshall, whose number selection has been an oddly hot topic in South Florida, had No. 19 on Wednesday - but cautioned that could change.

"This'll be my number for now," Marshall said. "We'll have one in stone before camp."

Not being on the field Wednesday is likely no more than a minor setback for Marshall. Pennington lauded the way Marshall has tried to integrate himself into his new locker room, plus picking up the hows-and-whys of the Dolphins.

"He's done a really good job of coming in here and working extremely hard and trying to become a teammate like we all are," Pennington said. "We're all excited to have him. I think he's excited to be here."

Notes: Among those who worked out on the side and did not practice were linebacker Channing Crowder and nose tackle Jason Ferguson, who is facing an eight-game suspension for violating NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. ... Brown, who missed much of the second half of last season with a right foot injury, seemed to be limping noticeably at times but did take part in some team drills. "He's doing really well," Sparano said. ... Another wide receiver, Patrick Turner, is also expected to miss the entire series of OTA days while recovering from surgery.

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