Miami Dolphins

Dolphins’ Cortland Finnegan has testy history with Ravens’ Steve Smith

Cortland Finnegan
Cortland Finnegan AP

Cortland Finnegan and Steve Smith Sr. are like the same end of two batteries.

Get them together, and stuff tends to go flying.

That was the case in 2007, when Finnegan (then a cornerback for the Titans) first faced Smith (then a receiver for the Panthers).

“He comes over to me, and tells me ‘None of that crazy stuff, Finnegan,’” the Dolphins defensive back recalled Wednesday. “I’d never played him before, so I was like, ‘Yes sir. Absolutely. Nothing crazy.’ Back then, they called me crazy.”

Finnegan continued: “Midway through the game, [the Panthers] ran a toss-sweep, and I had him pinned. I was going to push the running back out of bounds. Next thing I know, he picks me up and he throws me into the water cooler. The very next play, he runs a slant, they run a boot, and I run as fast as I could and went helmet-to-helmet with him. I remember his helmet bouncing on the ground and he bounced up so fast, telling me he was going to kill me. I’ve enjoyed Steve Smith.”

Finnegan hopes to be able to make a new memory Sunday. He practiced on a limited basis Wednesday after missing the past three games with an ankle injury. He called himself 50-50 to play against the Ravens — Smith’s new team.

“It’s pretty much the whole thing,” Finnegan said, when asked about the nature of his ankle injury. “High, low, toes and everything, you name it. I’ve never had one, so it’s been tough to overcome. I don’t want to go out there and hurt my team by not being able to play the whole game, so I want to make sure it’s suitable to play the whole game.”

The Dolphins certainly hope he can go. They’re quickly running out of options.

Jamar Taylor, Finnegan’s backup, already has been ruled out of Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury. If neither is active, the Dolphins would again presumably use R.J. Stanford, who saw 44 snaps from scrimmage against the Jets after signing with the team just days before.

When asked Wednesday if he could remember the last time he was that thin at corner, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin paused, then deadpanned: “Yeah, last week.”


▪ Linebacker Jonathan Freeny also has been scratched for Sunday’s game. He has been dealing with a significant hamstring injury.

▪ Five Dolphins were limited in their participation Wednesday: Finnegan, TE Charles Clay (hamstring), WR Brian Hartline (knee), C Samson Satele (ribs), WR Mike Wallace (chest).

▪ The Dolphins this Sunday are asking game-goers to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots.

▪ The Dolphins have signed linebacker Jake Knott and receiver L’Damian Washington to their practice squad. They cut cornerback Ahmad Dixon and tight end Jake Stoneburner to make room.

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