By the time the Miami Dolphins return to action following their bye on Nov. 4, they could have a new starting quarterback.
Backup quarterback Cleo Lemon is expected to make his third start of the season Sunday against the New York Giants in London. However, rookie John Beck could be the starter on Nov. 11 when the 0-7 Dolphins play host to the Buffalo Bills, two sources said this week.
Quarterback Trent Green, who began the season as the starter, is on injured reserve for the rest of the season. Green's injury and the team's slow start have combined to convince top-level Dolphins officials it's time to play Beck, the team's second-round NFL draft pick in April.
At least one high-ranking member of the organization believes the team needs to find out if Beck is a good enough player to build around for the future.
"We need to know (about Beck) so we know if we have to take a quarterback with that pick (in next year's draft)," one of the sources said. Among the top quarterbacks expected to be available in the 2008 draft are Brian Brohm of Louisville, Matt Ryan of Boston College and Andre Woodson of Kentucky.
The Dolphins have been playing Lemon, 63-of-107 passing for 643 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions, since Green suffered a concussion against Houston on Oct. 7. While the coaching staff has been impressed with Lemon, the Dolphins' scouting staff believed that Beck was one of the top prospects in the draft.
In fact, the Dolphins opted to take Beck in the second round rather than Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn with either the No. 9 overall pick or by moving down in the first round of the draft.