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Cameron Wake is among those who could be on the sidelines when the Dolphins play their second preseason game on Friday.
On the eve of the Miami Dolphins' second preseason game of 2012, it appears the team will be missing a number of key starters when they take the field against the Carolina Panthers on Friday.
Linebackers Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett have not practiced with the team all week, both recovering from undisclosed injuries. Neither has defensive end Cameron Wake, who was involved in a traffic accident Monday when a car made a left turn in front of his car in Plantation.
Wake was wearing a seatbelt during the accident, as was the other driver. His car was totaled, and Wake has not practiced with the team since the accident. The Dolphins have been mum as to whether he sustained any serious injuries in the crash, or whether his absence was the result of soreness.
Also likely to sit out on Friday is reserve defensive tackle Tony McDaniel. Gary Guyton and Jason Trusnick are expected to start at linebacker Friday, while rookie and former UM standout Olivier Vernon could start for Wake against the Panthers.
"To fully evaluate the defense, I'm looking for the defense to go out and play a lot faster than they did whoever's in there out the game early in the game on Friday," head coach Joe Philbin told the Miami Herald Wednesday.
None of the injuries to these starters appear to be very serious. Philbin may be opting simply to give his most seasoned veterans time off to let the various nicks and bruises of training camp heal now so that they do not get slowed down by them during the regular season.
Starting right guard Artis Hicks and his backup, Eric Steinbach, missed practice Wednesday, and both could sit on Friday night as well. QB David Garrard, who underwent surgery over the weekend, will also be out on offense, leaving Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill to take most of the critical snaps against the Panthers.
Typically, NFL teams use the third game of the preseason as a dress rehearsal for the regular season, playing the starting units for the first three quarters before giving backups some playing time. That won't happen until the Dolphins host the Atlanta Falcons next week.