By Simon Evans
MIAMI (Reuters) - The Miami Dolphins lost two quarterbacks to injury on Sunday but still managed to secure their first home win of the NFL season with a 29-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans.
After a midweek decision to replace Chad Henne at starting quarterback with the more experienced Chad Pennington, Miami coach Tony Sparano's game plan was in tatters after two plays when Pennington went off with a shoulder injury.
It was a bitter blow to Pennington who has not played since a shoulder injury suffered early in the 2009 season.
"It's really frustrating, I know exactly the road this guy had to take to get himself ready to go and to get himself back and he had a really good week of practice," said Sparano.
"You want to talk about a guy bouncing around like he was 20-years-old again, to go out there and to play one or two plays, I am sure it is really tough."
Henne finished the drive with a handoff to Ronnie Brown, who scored a two-yard touchdown to give Miami an early lead.
But Henne, who finished with 240 yards, one touchdown and one interception, went down with a knee injury during the third quarter and left Miami with a tough decision.
Wary of league rules which would have prevented Henne from returning if he had been replaced in the third quarter, Miami opted to run an offense without a recognized quarterback for the reminder of the quarter.
That meant a wildcard formation that worked surprisingly well with running back Ronnie Brown taking snaps and Ricky Williams rushing for gains of 14 and 23 yards.
Third stringer Tyler Thigpen was introduced at the start of the fourth quarter and looked confident, especially during an 85-yard drive that sealed the victory when he connected with Anthony Fasano on a nine-yard touchdown pass.
Miami will have little rest until their next game as they play the Chicago Bears on Thursday and Sparano may have to again turn to Thigpen or consider an emergency replacement.
"I have no idea, I really don't," said Sparano when asked who will be in the key position in four days.
The win improved the Dolphins to 5-4 in the AFC East and snapped a five-game losing streak at home while the Titans dropped to 5-4 in the AFC South.
Titans quarterback Kerry Collins limped off the field after the first half with a calf injury and was replaced by Vince Young, who did not start because of an ankle injury.
Titans running back Chris Johnson rushed for 117 yards and one touchdown while wide receiver Randy Moss had one reception for 26 yards in his debut with the Titans.
(Editing by Frank Pingue)