DAVIE - The Miami Dolphins began its week of preparation for Sunday's game without two of the defense's most valuable players.
Nose tackle Paul Soliai, who suffered a left knee injury in Sunday's 24-20 win over the Colts, was absent from Tuesday's afternoon practice, and the Dolphins signed two defensive tackles - Isaako Aaitui and Al Lapuaho - to practice squad on Tuesday.
The Dolphins defense also began its week of preparation for Sunday's 1 p.m. home-opener against the Atlanta Falcons without starting free safety Chris Clemons.
While the team practiced Clemons worked on the side with the team's trainers. The nature of his injury won't be disclosed until Wednesday's injury report.
On a positive note, all three of the team's injured cornerback participated in Tuesday's practice.
Dimitri Patterson, who began the season as Miami's starting cornerback and the primary nickel cornerback, has been nursing a groin injury since training camp, and it kept him from playing in Sunday's game.
And rookie cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis both practiced on Tuesday, but their level of participation wasn't specified.
Taylor, Miami's second-round pick, has been nursing a groin injury since late May. He hasn't practiced with the team in two weeks.
Davis, the team's third-round pick, has missed three games (including the preseason finale) because of a turf toe injury. However, he practiced on a limited basis all last week, but wasn't cleared to play.
The Dolphins will need Patterson, Taylor and Davis to defend Atlanta's high-octane passing offense, which features Pro Bowl receiver Roddy White and Julio Jones.
If Soliai doesn't play on Sunday Randy Starks would return to a starting role, and free agent addition Vaughn Martin would likely receive more playing time.
Jimmy Wilson is the logical replacement for Clemons at free safety, but considering he has worked in the nickel spot during Patterson's absence the Dolphins would need to find another cornerback to cover the opposition's slot receiver if Clemons is sidelined.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun