The Dolphins put Culpepper on injured reserve Tuesday, ruling out any chance of the quarterback returning from knee problems that kept him sidelined for much of his first season in Miami.
“Even though Daunte was making good progress in his rehabilitation, we both felt, along with our medical staff, that it would be very difficult for him to be ready to play in the next three weeks,” said Dolphins coach Nick Saban. “Because it’s important to have depth at the quarterback position the rest of the season, we all felt the best decision for the team was to place him on IR.”
It’s possible that the Dolphins may look to sign another quarterback to play behind Joey Harrington and Cleo Lemon for the rest of the season.
Culpepper started the first four games of the season for the Dolphins, completing 60 percent of his passes and throwing for 929 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
He underwent major knee surgery in November 2005 and returned to the field more quickly than expected, but with his mobility hampered, he was sacked 21 times. The Dolphins started Harrington in their fifth game and have kept him in the lineup since, while Culpepper focused on rehabilitation.
Culpepper â€” whom the Dolphins acquired in March from the Minnesota Vikings for a second-round draft pick â€” also underwent arthroscopic surgery last month to remove a piece of cartilage in his knee.
No surprise about this news. Dolphin fans will have to wait till at least 2007 before knowing if Culpepper can return to his pre-injury level of play or if Miami has again bungled a key personnel decision.
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