Davie, Fla. — Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Fiedler will miss at least four weeks because of a broken right thumb, making Ray Lucas a starter for the first time in three seasons.
Fiedler had surgery to repair the joint Monday afternoon, team trainer Kevin O'Neill said. His throwing hand will be placed in a cast for several weeks before beginning rehabilitation.
It could be a significant loss for a team that is 5-1, has a two-game lead in the AFC East and high hopes of reaching the Super Bowl for the first time since 1985.
"We just need to piece this thing together and figure out what we need to do as a staff and a team to win this football game," said coach Dave Wannstedt, whose Dolphins play Buffalo on Sunday.
Fiedler sustained the injury late in Sunday night's 24-22 victory over the Denver Broncos. He was hurt with 3:30 remaining in the game, hitting his throwing hand on a helmet while completing a 5-yard pass to Ricky Williams.
But Fiedler remained in the game and played the final series, setting up Olindo Mare's 53-yard winning field goal with two critical completions totaling 39 yards in the final seconds.
"If anybody needed additional information to reaffirm the type of winner Jay Fiedler is and what he's willing to sacrifice and do to give this team a chance to win, it's just another example of that," Wannstedt said. "He didn't want to come out. He wanted to see this thing through."
X-rays after the game revealed a broken bone.
Fiedler is 26-11 as a starter for the Dolphins and has missed just one start since signing with the team in 2000.
"It will be somewhat frustrating just because I'm a competitor and want to be out on the field and helping the team," Fiedler said. "But I'll help in the best way that I know how right now. I plan on being a coach for however many weeks this keeps me out."
Wannstedt said nothing will change with Lucas under center.
Cincinnati Dick LeBeau kept his job Monday as coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, a sign that the NFL's only winless team is content to stay the course.
The Bengals have had four head coaches but no winning records since 1990, the last season Paul Brown ran the team.
LeBeau's future was clouded after the Bengals fell to 0-6 with a 34-7 loss Sunday to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
General manager Mike Brown held his customary Monday morning meeting with the coaching staff and never raised the subject of changes, LeBeau said.
Charlotte, N.C. Carolina Panthers quarterback Rodney Peete needs surgery on his knee and will be sidelined at least three weeks, putting Chris Weinke back in the starting lineup.
Carolina coach John Fox said Monday that Peete has been playing with a torn meniscus in his right knee all season and will have it repaired on Tuesday. Special teams ace Jarrod Cooper of K-State is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Lake Forest, Ill. Chicago Bears running back Anthony Thomas helped pull a man from a burning car.
The 2001 rookie of the year was on his way to visit teammate David Terrell late Sunday when he saw a smoldering car on the road.
"The car was smoking at first, but it wasn't really on fire," Thomas said. "But when I got there and I pulled over, it sounded like, 'Boom,' and then a tire popped and a big fire blew out.
"When you see a car fire you never know if it's going to blow up or not. So the main thing, I was trying to get the guy away from the car and get me and my wife away from the car."
No one was injured.
Jacksonville, Fla. Jaguars right tackle Maurice Williams is out for the season with a broken right leg.
Green Bay Packers
Left tackle Chad Clifton tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee and is expected to miss 1-to-3 weeks.
Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse is not expected to play for another four weeks because his broken left foot has been healing slowly.
Irving, Texas Dallas Cowboys rookie safety Roy Williams had an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of his heel injury.
The team didn't release the results of the test, but coach Dave Campo said Williams is day-to-day.