MIAMI – Quarterback Gus Frerotte’s status is uncertain for Sunday’s game at Cleveland following an injury to the index finger on his throwing hand.

“Gus hit his finger on a helmet at the end of the game,” Dolphins coach Nick Saban said. “It didn’t affect him in the game. But he has a significant amount of swelling in it, and any time you get that kind of situation, we’ll have to assess it day to day. We’ll see where he is on Wednesday.”

The injury occurred in the second quarter, when Frerotte’s finger hit the helmet of New England linebacker Monty Beisel. He continued playing without missing a snap and afterward had an X-ray.

A source said the X-ray was negative. Once the “significant swelling” Frerotte had Monday goes down, he could undergo further tests.

Frerotte, who had his most productive game of the season by throwing for 360 yards and two touchdowns, declined to be interviewed Monday. He was in the training room getting treatment to take the swelling out of the finger.

He also did not return a message left on his cellphone.

“I’ll talk about it Wednesday,” was the entirety of Frerotte’s comment in a statement released by the team.

Other than Saban’s comment about the injury, the Dolphins were either mum or unaware of Frerotte’s injury.

Guard Rex Hadnot said he didn’t know Frerotte was hurt.

“The way he was throwing, I couldn’t tell,” Hadnot said.

Reserve quarterback Sage Rosenfels, who spent time with Frerotte in meetings Monday, confirmed he had seen and talked to his teammate but declined to comment on the injury.

Saban said during his news conference Monday that he did not expect lineup changes for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, suggesting that Frerotte could be healed enough to start the game. His ability to finish would be less certain.

And that could thrust Rosenfels into the game. Rosenfels has not played in a regular-season game since starting last year’s finale.

(c) 2005, The Miami Herald.

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Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

AP-NY-11-14-05 2053EST

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