The Dolphins’ banged-up secondary will apparently remain a work in progress up until the end.
Ailing cornerback Sean Smith was the latest to miss practice, sitting out Wednesday’s session after warming up with the team.
Smith wore a brace on the left knee he bruised in the third quarter of Sunday’s victory against Buffalo.
While Smith was out, Nolan Carroll is apparently back in.
Carroll missed the Bills game with an injured knee of his own but worked out on a limited basis and ran with the starters during the portion of Wednesday’s practice that was open to the media.
“It felt better than it did last week,” Carroll said. “Last week, the fact that it’s so late in the week for me, they just decided for me not to play and get a few more days to recuperate and recover. I feel better this week. As the days go on in practice, [I will] see how it feels.
“They’ll determine whatever they want to do.”
Dimitri Patterson, who started and played every defensive snap against Buffalo despite signing with the team earlier in the week, was the team’s other base corner during practice.
Meanwhile, starting safety Reshad Jones also showed up on Wednesday’s injury report. He worked on a limited basis with a hip issue.
“We’re going to need every healthy guy we have [Sunday against the Patriots],” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said.
“This is as good a pass offense as there is in the National Football League. The more [defensive backs] we have the better.”
Nate Kaeding is the most accurate kicker in NFL history, in no small part, because he had just four of his career’s first 207 field-goal attempts blocked.
But on Kaeding’s first try as a member of the Dolphins on Sunday, Buffalo’s Alex Carrington busted through the line and batted aside the 46-yard attempt.
“That stuff happens throughout the course of the season,” Kaeding said. “I’ve seen a lot of different scenarios during my time in the league.
“The play happened; you move on. We were successful on the rest of our placements.”
Three days and one Dolphins victory later, Philbin allowed himself to joke about the special teams hiccup to reporters.
“When he walked off the field, I said, ‘We usually protect better than that,’ ” Philbin said Wednesday.
The secondary wasn’t the only place where the Dolphins had holes Wednesday.
Koa Misi, who injured his ankle against the 49ers and hasn’t played since, worked to the side with trainers during practice. Wide receiver Davone Bess was again shelved by an ailing back.
Randy Starks, meanwhile, was excused with a non-football personal reason. His mother’s funeral was Wednesday morning in Colonial Heights, Va.
Always a cane
In the three years defensive tackle Vince Wilfork was at the University of Miami, the Hurricanes won 35 of 38 games, including the 2001 BCS Championship Game. In the nine years since, they’ve gone just 66-46.
“Winning is everything, so you have to find ways to win,” Wilfork said Wednesday during a conference call with the media in Miami. “I bleed orange and green, but at the same time I’m a Patriot right now. I follow them. I’m going to always follow them.
“I’m a Hurricane until I die, and hopefully that program will get turned around soon, so we’ll see.”
This and that
• Richie Incognito and Reggie Bush were jointly awarded Wednesday with the annual Good Guy Award, given to the Dolphins player who is most cooperative and professional with the media.
• Philbin, on how the team plans to prepare for the expected snowy conditions Sunday in Foxborough: “We’re going to get the [practice] bubble real cold.”