DAVIE — Jake Long must have repeated that quarterback Chad Henne is a "strong guy" about a dozen times.
The Dolphins left tackle was trying to get a message across to those questioning whether Henne, his teammate since their college days at Michigan, could have continued playing with the separated left shoulder he suffered in Sunday's loss to San Diego.
Henne joked that the team could "cut off" his left arm if it meant he'd finish the 2011 season. Obviously that wasn't an option. And neither was waiting the injury out, considering a second opinion advised Henne to have corrective surgery immediately.
Henne, who started 31 games for the Dolphins, is scheduled to undergo the procedure in the coming days and has been placed on injured reserve, ending his season.
"It's really disappointing. The kid's got a lot obviously invested in this whole thing," coach Tony Sparano said. "I think he's worked extremely hard. I think he's done a tremendous job to this point and has really improved. It's unfortunate because I know the kid really wanted to see this whole thing through and finish it."
Sparano has anointed Matt Moore, who has started 13 games in his five NFL seasons, the new starter, and on Thursday the team signed Sage Rosenfels, a 10-year veteran who has started 12 of the 44 games he has played.
The 6-foot-4, 222-pound Rosenfels has completed 351 of 562 passes in his career for 4,156 yards. He has thrown 30 touchdowns and 29 interceptions and has a 81.2 career rating.
Rosenfels was released Tuesday by the Giants after recovering from a blood disorder that sent him to the hospital in August.
The only other healthy quarterback with the Dolphins was practice squad rookie Pat Devlin.
Sparano acknowledged the Dolphins (0-4) worked out a number of veteran quarterbacks, including Trent Edwards, Brodie Croyle, Jim Sorgi and Charlie Frye. He said Rosenfels performed the best during the team's workouts and "had some quality snaps in games."
Rosenfels will earn $970,000.
Moore will become the 16th quarterback to start for the Dolphins since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season.
Henne, who had a career-high 79.0 quarterback rating this season, is in the final year of the rookie contract he signed as a second-round pick in 2008. He becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2012.
Ratings up: Fox's NFL coverage Sunday matched the highest television rating for the single-game broadcast window since 1998. The network's eight games included the Lions' comeback against the Cowboys and the Giants' rally against the Cardinals. Among the other matchups were Panthers-Bears, 49ers-Eagles and Redskins-Rams. The broadcast window averaged a 14.0 rating and 30 share and had the unusual distinction of drawing a higher rating than the national game on CBS and NBC's Sunday Night Football. Fox is averaging a 12.2/25 through four weeks, the highest since it started NFL coverage in 1994. Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned into a program. Shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time.
colts: Quarterback Peyton Manning said he is recovering well from neck surgery, but it is too early to know whether he has any shot at playing this season.
jaguars: Receiver Mike Thomas signed a three-year, $18 million extension that includes $9 million guaranteed. It locks him up through the 2015 season. … The team avoided a TV blackout for Sunday's game against the Bengals when Anheuser-Busch guaranteed that the remaining 6,000 tickets would be bought. Earlier this season the company bought tickets to avoid blackouts in Miami and Charlotte.
jets: Receiver Plaxico Burress (swollen left elbow) was back at practice, and center Nick Mangold expects to return against the Patriots after missing two weeks with a high right ankle sprain.
panthers: Tight end Jeremy Shockey, who has a mild concussion, said he will play Sunday against the Saints. He returned to practice and said of the team that released him: "This game can't come fast enough for me.'' Coach Ron Rivera said Shockey first needs to be cleared by an independent doctor.
vikings: Cornerback Antoine Winfield (neck strain) missed practice. The team will know more about his condition today.