With the upcoming game this Thursday against the Miami Dolphins, a familiar face returns to Detroit. Prior to the start of the season, everyone circled this game on the schedule because it presented a possible chance for Joey Harrington to come back to Detroit for the first time since being traded. We all knew that with Daunte Culpepper in the starting role, the potential matchup of Kitna and Harrington would be tough to see, but as we approach the game, it turns out the change at QB for Miami wasn't hard at all.
The Miami Dolphins made two newsworthy transactions at the quarterback position. The first and obvious one was the signing of Daunte Culpepper. Culpepper had been a great player for many years in Minnesota, but an injury that sidelined him last season gave Brad Johnson an opportunity to shine. Johnson grasped his role as the temporary starting QB and turned it into something permanent after a span of great performances. Plus, Minnesota was unsure of how Culpepper would heal, so they didn't want to take the chance on an injured player.
Miami had a choice between Drew Brees and Daunte Culpepper, and if they could go back and change it, probably would've signed Brees instead this time. Brees is playing great football in New Orleans. He just recently threw for over 500 yards on Sunday actually.
Nevertheless, Miami wanted to have a backup plan for Daunte Culpepper just in case an injury happened. It looks like that was a smart decision as Culpepper first got benched and then the injury he was nursing just got worse. Now is where Joey Harrington comes in. The Lions worked out a trade to send Harrington to Miami and in return got a late-round draft pick.
As we reach the later weeks of the season, Joey Harrington has now been the starter for what seems like a long time, and is actually playing great. He has helped turn the Dolphins around to get them three straight wins, with one coming against the undefeated Chicago Bears. It must've just been that Detroit atmosphere that kept Harrington from playing well while in the Motor City.
What will be interesting is to see how he reacts when he returns on Thanksgiving for a matchup with the Lions. You can bet on the crowd giving him an unfriendly welcoming back to Ford Field, but just wait until the game starts. The pressure on Harrington's shoulders will be so great that it may cause him to go back to his older form of playing bad football. That would all be a plus for Detroit of course.
To see just how Joey Harrington fares during his return to the "D" you can tune in at 12:30 p.m. ET on CBS for the annual Thanksgiving tradition.