ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 13: John Abraham #55 of the Atlanta Falcons sacks quarterback Chad Pennington #10 of the Miami Dolphins at Georgia Dome on September 13, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The injury happened after a hit in the third quarter of Sunday's 23-13 loss to San Diego. Pennington will seek a second opinion, the ESPN report said. Pennington will seek the advice of renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who has already operated on the shoulder twice.
The Dolphins have not confirmed the report, but all signs point to the end for Pennington and maybe the Dolphins' season.
Maybe Dr. Andrews offers a buy-two-get-one-free, and Old Chad comes ba -- oh, who are we kidding? We just weren't ready to let him go quite yet. All signs -- and an expiring two-year contract on a papier machéd shoulder socket -- point to the end of the Pennington Era in Miami Gardens.
That means the Fins will get their Henne on, a little sooner than expected. Mortensen said the Dolphins are "firmly committed" to upgraded backup Chad Henne (second round out of Michigan last year) and have "NO interest" in bringing in a competitive starter. Pat White will fill in at no. 2, and ESPN says the Fins are shopping for a third stringer (you knew it would happen: Mike Barardino has already suggested 45-year-old Vinny Testaverde).
"Chad [Pennington] is our leader," receiver Greg Camarillo told ESPN. "Any injury to him is an injury to our offense. But it's also an opportunity for Henne to step up. We've got faith in his quarterbacking abilities. It's time for him to show it off."
Judging from how shaky Henne looked in a quarter and a half on Sunday, we're going with the "or not" part of "ready or not."
It's not fair, of course, to judge Henne based on a quarter and a half of play when he had yet to see the field this year. His performance in the pre-season wasn't stellar, however, and he never pushed Pennington in training camp.
But he takes the reins Sunday against the Bills anyway, and fortunately for him, a three-game homestand is a far more comfortable place to truly begin an NFL career than, say, New England.
Unfortunately for him, he'll be dealt the same roster Pennington was.
According to fans, this is either the best thing to happen to the Dolphins all season because the ability to throw deep will magically cure Ted Ginn Jr. of having stones for hands, or another reason to join a Sunday afternoon knitting group (next week: adorable nubby arm slings for the man who won us an AFC East title with 870 lil' 5-yard passes).
Assuming leadership of an ailing 0-3 team will either take the pressure off or ruin Henne's confidence forever, but hey, at least now morbid curiosity gives us a reason to watch the hot fishy mess again.
As for Pennington, this could be the end of his Dolphins career. He was in the final year of a two-year deal that saw the veteran take the Phins from league doormat to AFC East division champs in one year.
He has twice won comeback player of the year after returning from severe arm injuries, most recently last year.
But with his arm strength already in question, it will be difficult to ask Pennington to three-peat.