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Don't expect Knowshon Moreno to return to Dolphins

MIAMI -- There is a strong chance that running back Knowshon Moreno played his last game as a member of the Miami Dolphins in Sunday's 27-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers. His tenure in Miami included one explosive game in Week 1 and a trio of tough injuries.

The Dolphins on Tuesday placed Moreno on season-ending injured reserve with an ACL injury. He faces a long road to recovery. These kinds of knee injuries usually take about nine to 12 months of rehab.

Moreno also had knee surgery in the summer that caused him to miss time in training camp and an elbow injury that kept him out of two games in the regular season. In addition, Moreno missed 19 games during his five years with the Denver Broncos. Moreno's physical style has caused a lot of wear and tear, which makes him a risky long-term investment.

The Dolphins knew that when they signed Moreno to a one-year deal in the spring. It was a show-me contract to see if Moreno could stay healthy and be the spark Miami was looking for in the running game. Moreno showed what he could do in one game with 134 rushing yards against the New England Patriots. He finished the season with just 148 rushing yards and one touchdown in three games.

Moreno, 27, stayed true to form with constant injuries. It’s best for the Dolphins to move on at the tailback position. Starting running back Lamar Miller (330 yards, three touchdowns) is on pace for a career year and they would be better off finding a younger, healthier power tailback in next year's draft to replace Moreno.

It also doesn't help Moreno that the future of Miami’s leadership structure is in doubt. Who knows if coach Joe Philbin will lead the Dolphins in 2015? The team most likely will need to make the playoffs for him to keep his job, and there's a lot of work to do in that regard.

All of this leads to Moreno and the Dolphins most likely going in separate directions next season.