DAVIE - Was it pride, resentment, sarcasm, or disappointment?
But when this two-time Pro Bowler was asked about missing last Monday night's 38-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints, Wake made sure everyone knew it was the first professional game he'd been sidelined by an injury "EVER!"
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"Tough is an understatement," said Wake, who practiced all week despite the MCL sprain he suffered in his left knee during the first-quarter of the Sept. 22 27-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Wake traveled to New Orleans, worked out for team doctors and coaches hours before the game. But he couldn't gain the necessary clearance to take the field. It was determined playing would be too great a risk for the Dolphins' top pass rusher.
Wake has been practicing with a knee brace, and at times can be caught limping around the field and the locker room. But that hasn't stopped this former CFL standout from wanting to prove he can, and should contribute.
"I haven't missed a game because of injury since 2001," Wake said, referring to his days as a Penn State linebacker named Derek Wake. "It is really tough not being out there with the guys. I feel like I can go out there and help.
"If I had one leg I'd try to go out there and run around," Wake admitted. "We've got to make the best decision for the team, and at that point it was to sit me down."
Wake continues to practice on a limited basis, and hopes he'll get cleared to play in Sunday's home game against the Baltimore Ravens. But there is no guaranteed.
The Dolphins were initially given a 2-3 week recovery timetable for Wake's mild MCL sprain. Miami could sit Wake against the Ravens, and with the bye week on deck Wake's knee could be given three full weeks to heal before the Oct. 20 home contest against the Buffalo Bills.
However, nose tackle Paul Soliai suffered a similar injury to the same knee the previous week and was only sidelined one game. Soliai, who was on crutches for a week, played against the Saints 15 days after his left knee injury and was a force in his 22 snaps against New Orleans.
Second-year defensive end Derrick Shelby started in Wake's place against the Saints and recorded four tackles. The Dolphins also used starting defensive tackle Jared Odrick, who served two-years as Miami's starting right defensive end, and rookie Dion Jordan, the team's 2013 first-round pick, as ends more against the Saints.
If Miami decides to rest Wake again that would likely be the formula to compensate for his absence.
"From a selfish side you want to be out there helping out, but those guys are more than capable," said Wake, who has contributed five tackles, 2.5 sacks and a team-leading six quarterback hits in the two full games and two series of the Falcons game he played. "I feel better. But again, we don't play today. We'll see what happens on Sunday."