Dannell Ellerbe: 'I plan on playing'

DAVIE, Fla. – Miami Dolphins starting middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe missed his third straight practice Wednesday with a shoulder injury. However, he is sticking to his goal of playing Sunday against the Buffalo Bills in Miami’s first division game of the season.

“It’s coming along good. I’m healing well,” Ellerbe said in the locker room Wednesday. “I plan on playing.”

Whether that happens remains to be seen. Ellerbe was equally optimistic earlier in the week, but that is the nature of many NFL players.

Ellerbe injured his shoulder playing against Baltimore, his former team, on Oct. 6 and couldn’t finish the game. Fortunately, the Dolphins had a bye to allow the linebacker two weeks to rest before the next game.

Ellerbe dressed in full pads Wednesday but didn’t take part in any contact drills. He did some light work with a trainer, but it was less than the previous two days.

“I’m one of those players, I [would] definitely rather practice than sit over there and watch or be over there with the trainers,” Ellerbe explained. “I'd rather be out there with my guys. Being one of the leaders of this defense, I feel like it’s my role to be out there practicing with my guys, and my guys seeing me out there working hard so they can build off me.”

Ellerbe feels he can play through the pain, but that won’t be determined until later in the week. If Ellerbe cannot start, he would be replaced by backup linebacker Jason Trusnik.

Here is Miami's full injury report on Wednesday: