Posted by Evan Silva on June 10, 2010 7:25 PM EThttp://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... ?related=1
Chad Pennington is expected to begin the season as the Dolphins' third-string quarterback, behind Chad Henne and Tyler Thigpen, and ahead of only emerging 2009 second-round flop Pat White.
Pennington opened last year as Miami's starter, but suffered a season-ending injury to his right (throwing) shoulder and was ultimately placed on injured reserve.
In addition to the Dolphins' growing confidence in Thigpen, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel hints at a factor that may have contributed to Pennington's fall down the depth chart. According to the Sun-Sentinel's Omar Kelly, Pennington "rarely threw a pass" during minicamp and OTA practices open to the media. Pennington is recovering from the third throwing-shoulder surgery of his career.
As Kelly writes, "I see no reason why he can't be stashed on PUP for the first couple months of the season."
The obstacle involves Pennington's ability to practice during training camp, which is roughly six weeks away. Pennington will be eligible for the regular season Physically Unable to Perform list (reserve/PUP) if he's held out of all camp practices. Should Pennington be placed on PUP as Kelly seems to predict, he'll be ineligible to play until Week 7.
This would help to further explain Thigpen's climb into the backup role after spending most of last year no higher than third on the depth chart.