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Crawford faces surgery

Steve Yingling

Former Whittell High star football player Mike Crawford is expected to undergo hernia surgery today in Miami.

The Miami Dolphins second-year linebacker has been unable to participate in preseason training camp after pain originated in his hip region following a mid-May weight lifting session.

The Dolphins opened their preseason schedule with a 19-16 victory over Washington on Saturday night.

Originally, Dolphins team doctors believed the University of Nevada alum had experienced a hip stress fracture.

Before traning camp opened last month coach Jimmy Johnson placed the 23-year-old Crawford on the active player unable to perform list. He is eligible to return to the Dolphins after the sixth game and will draw on his $200,000 salary while healing.

“This is big time for me, getting some respect for my football ability. This is the best I could hope for coming into training camp injured,” said Crawford following Johnson’s roster move. “This shows me that they respect me and they have confidence in me as a football player.”

Johnson, who coached the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowl victories, has said that Crawford has made improved significantly since last season.

“It’s kind of a strange injury and it’s delayed him somewhat, but if he picks up where he left off in (spring) minicamps, he’s going to help us,” Johnson said. “His minicamp work was quite a bit above what he did for us last year and because of this he had thrown himself right in the picture for playing time.”

Crawford, a 1996 Big West All-Conference first-team linebacker, had four special teams tackles for the Dolphins in 1997.

Another Pack product, Brock Marion, was injured in Saturday’s preseason game. Marion, the Dolphins starting free safety, sprained his right ankle while stopping Redskins running back Terry Allen for no gain in the first quarter. The extent of the injury wasn’t known Saturday night because the Redskins’ X-ray machine wasn’t working.

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