While the Miami Dolphins reviewed test results on Chad Pennington, their injured quarterback, teammates braced for the possibility that he would be out for the year.
Pennington had tests Monday on his right shoulder, which he hurt early in the third quarter of Sunday’s 23-13 loss at San Diego. He missed the rest of the game, and Coach Tony Sparano said he did not know how long Pennington would be sidelined.
Multiple news media outlets, including ESPN and The Associated Press, were reporting that Pennington’s injury was severe enough to keep him out for the rest of the season. He had surgery on the same shoulder in 2004 and 2005.
The team spokesman Harvey Greene said, “We don’t have a comment, because the evaluation process is still ongoing.”
Chad Henne, a second-year player out of Michigan, replaced Pennington and went 10 for 19 for 92 yards with an interception. He would be the likely starter on Sunday when the Dolphins (0-3) host the Buffalo Bills.
Henne would be the 14th starting quarterback for Miami since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season.
The injury to Pennington, who ranks as the league’s most accurate career passer, is a blow for a team that appears to be rapidly regressing. In 2008, the Dolphins improved their victory total by 10 games and won the American Football Conference East. Now they are 0-3, and only three teams since 1990 have gone to the playoffs after such a slow start.
“I told this team yesterday, it’s not O.K. to be 0-3,” Sparano said. “If there’s a place where we can shake some things up, we will.”