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The Miami Dolphins improved to 3-0 on Sunday with a win over the Atlanta Falcons, and they managed to do so without defensive leader Cameron Wake, who left the game with a knee injury in the first quarter.
The Sun Sentinel reported Monday that Wake suffered a mild sprain of the MCL in his left knee. Though the Sentinel stated that the injury will keep Wake out 2-3 weeks, Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle was much more optimistic, saying he did not know whether Wake will be available when Miami plays at New Orleans on Monday night in Week 4.
"We're going to wait and see how the week progresses," defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said Monday. "We have a long week here ahead of us, and I think we'll make that determination at the end of the week."
Wake has never missed a game in his five years with the Dolphins. He leads the team with 2.5 sacks in 2013, a season after he set a career high with 15 sacks. Miami signed Wake to a 4-year contract extension worth a reported $49 million before the 2012 season.
With Wake out on Sunday, rookie DE (and first-round draft pick) Dion Jordan saw more action alongside other starter Olivier Vernon, as did veteran Jason Trusnik and Derrick Shelby.
"We're seeing more and more of Dion, and he's getting better," Coyle said. "We want to expand his role. He showed things in the game Sunday which lead us to believe we can keep feeding him more."
Wake is not the only key defender battling injury. Starting CB Dimitri Patterson and DT Paul Soliai missed the Falcons game, and LB Koa Misi left the game with a shoulder injury.
"You never want anybody to go down, but you know it's bound to happen in this game," cornerback Brent Grimes said. "You have to have people step up."
Since they are playing on Monday night this week, the Dolphins will have an extra day to recover, which might make a difference with Wake, Soliai, and others. Their next opponent, the 3-0 Saints, have the sixth-best offense in the NFL in terms of yardage, so Miami will need all the help it can get.