Charge dropped against Phillip Merling

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Prosecutors have dropped a felony aggravated battery charge against Miami Dolphins reserve defensive end Phillip Merling.

The Broward State Attorney's Office charged Merling with attacking his pregnant girlfriend. But it said Tuesday that the woman had moved to her parents' house in South Carolina and authorities have been unable to serve her a subpoena to have her return to Florida to testify against Merling.

A judge wouldn't grant another continuance since the state wasn't able to provide a complaining witness. So, prosecutors say, the state was forced on Monday to drop the charge.

The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Merling was arrested in May. He has made progress in his recovery from a torn Achilles tendon and might soon be activated. Merling had 33 tackles and 2½ sacks for the Dolphins last season.