Every time the Dolphins plug one hole in their porous secondary, a new one opens up.
Sean Smith was the latest Miami corner to go down, injuring his knee during the third quarter of the Dolphins’ 24-10 win over Buffalo on Sunday.
Smith did not return and will undergo a MRI exam on the knee Monday. The severity of the injury was not immediately clear.
Once he got hurt, the Dolphins were left with Dimitri Patterson and Bryan McCann as their base corners — neither of whom was even with the team in training camp.
All four of the Dolphins’ top four corners from August have either been traded ( Vontae Davis) or limited by injury (Smith, Richard Marshall and Nolan Carroll, who sat out Sunday’s win).
Patterson got the surprise start in Carroll’s place against the Bills, logging four tackles after joining the team midweek. The Dolphins claimed Patterson on Tuesday after the Browns waived him the day before.
“It was a whirlwind mentally, but I was able to settle in, and after the first couple of series, it was football again,” Patterson said. “I feel like I competed [Sunday], I feel like I played hard.”
Lamar Miller rushed for 73 yards on 10 carries Sunday, the most productive game of his young career.
Miller became the team’s unquestioned No. 2 back after Daniel Thomas’ injury last week and has made a strong case to be the team’s starter next year should Reggie Bush leave for free agency.
“When my time comes, I just try to take advantage of it,” Miller said. “The offensive line, I give all the credit to them. They were just opening up the holes and making my job easy. I was just trying to run hard and keep the chains moving.”
Off on wrong foot
Nate Kaeding got a not-so-warm welcome to Miami on the Dolphins’ opening drive. His 46-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by Buffalo’s Alex Carrington.
Kaeding — signed after the Dolphins placed Dan Carpenter on injured reserve late last week — later connected on a 45-yarder and executed a perfect pooch punt, which could have been downed inside the 5 if John Denney hadn’t misjudged it.
This and that
• Cameron Wake set a career high with his 15th sack of the season Sunday. But breaking the team record? That might be a bit out of reach.
He needs 3 1/2 sacks to tie (and four to break) the Dolphins record, but just one game remains — next week at New England. Jason Taylor (2002) and Bill Stanfill (1973) share the record of 18 1/2 sacks.
“It doesn’t really mean much to me,” Wake said, when asked of setting his personal best Sunday. “The win to me was much more important. It was my job to go out there and get after the quarterback. But getting a W is the ultimate goal.”
• Dolphins inactives: Carroll, Pat Devlin, Davone Bess, Koa Misi, Patrick Brown, Kyle Miller and Kheeston Randall.
• Although the playoffs are no longer a possibility, the Dolphins will still jockey for divisional pecking order next Sunday. With a win or a Jets loss, they would finish second in the AFC East. If neither happens, they are third based on tiebreakers.
Should Miami finish second, the team would travel to Indianapolis and host San Diego in 2013, along with their already determined slate of opponents.
• With 130 passing yards Sunday, Ryan Tannehill went over 3,000 for the season. He has 3,059 with one game to play.
• The announced paid attendance for Sunday’s game was 54,467.