DAVIE - The Miami Dolphins' odds of playing Sunday's home game against Buffalo without starting middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe are growing.
Ellerbe, who suffered a shoulder injury in the Oct. 6 loss to Baltimore, sat out his second straight practice. The team's leading tackler worked with Dolphins trainers while his teammates practiced on Tuesday.
Jason Trusnik replaced Ellerbe as the inside linebacker paired with Koa Misi and Philip Wheeler. Trusnik has played in the Dolphins base defense the four games because of injuries to Miami's linebackers, and he's contributed six tackles.
On Monday Ellerbe said he was confident he'll play after spending all of his bye week rehabbing with trainers. He has two more practices before the Dolphins wrap up the week of preparation for Buffalo (2-4), which features a dynamic tailback tandem of C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, and an athletic quarterback in Thad Lewis.
The Bills are averaging 4.3 yards per carry and have scored five rushing touchdowns this season. In this defense the middle linebacker's primary responsibility is to contain the run, and cover tailbacks down-field.
Patterson practices for a second straight day
Veteran cornerback Dimitri Patterson practiced for the second straight day, and during Tuesday's session he got a few reps with the starting defense.
Patterson, who has been nursing a groin injury since training camp, had been shut down for a full month with the hopes he'd return after the bye week.
The Dolphins could use his presence in the secondary considering Nolan Carroll, who has started in his place the past three games, is nursing an elbow injury.
Chris Clemons shelved by hamstring
Dolphins starting free safety Chris Clemons has been sidelined by a hamstring injury he's been nursing for weeks. Clemons, a three-year starter, sat out the team's long practice during the bye week.
If he doesn't start its likely that Jimmy Wilson would replace him in the Dolphins secondary, but Clemons has had his participation limited for numerous weeks but continued to start.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun