MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP)The Miami Dolphins defense will get a boost soon with the return of All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Ramsey, whom the Dolphins acquired in an offseason trade with the Los Angeles Rams, practiced Wednesday for the first time since suffering a knee injury early in training camp.
Coach Mike McDaniel said Ramsey will not take the field when Miami faces Philadelphia on Sunday night as the team eases him back into action.
“He is as confident as one can be before his first practice,” McDaniel said ahead of Wednesday’s session, “and all of the stuff that he’s done in terms of all the work with the strength staff and the training staff, it’s the exact way that you would expect Jalen Ramsey to be.”
Ramsey has missed the first six games of the season after undergoing surgery in July to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Early reports estimated that he would be sidelined until at least December, but Ramsey vowed that he would beat any suggested timeline for return.
“It’s crazy. I guess he’s super human. I don’t know,” said second-year cornerback Kader Kohou. “He looks different. He looks like he’s been practicing the whole year.”
The Dolphins will have until Nov. 7 to activate Ramsey to the 53-man roster, or he will remain on injured reserve for the rest of the season.
After Sunday night’s showdown with the Eagles, Miami will host division rival New England on Oct 29. Then, the Dolphins will travel to Germany to take on Kansas City on Nov. 5.
Miami has a bye in Week 10. McDaniel indicated that there’s a chance Ramsey could play before then, but that is not certain.
“We don’t give, necessarily, timelines,” McDaniel said. “We gave from the onset, Jalen, we gave kind of a rough target, but everybody’s body is different. He called his shot early, I think the day that he got injured, that he was going to beat whatever the target would be. He certainly did that. With that being said, this is the first time that he’s going to be playing football, so we’ll acquire information, but very optimistic it will be sooner than later.”
Ramsey was one of Miami’s biggest offseason acquisitions along with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. He was brought in to boost Miami’s secondary, which struggled in 2022 and was derailed by injuries.
The Dolphins currently have just two interceptions on the season and are allowing 229.2 passing yards per game, which is ranked 20th in the NFL.
Ramsey, who had 88 tackles, four interceptions and two sacks for the Rams last season, has remained involved in team meetings and on the Dolphins sideline during games.
“I’ve never been around a guy that had this long of a rehab that hasn’t missed team meetings or hasn’t missed practices,” McDaniel said. “He is finding a way to affect that team in one way, shape or form. So his confidence will be as high as one can be in this stage, I can tell you that much.”
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa said Ramsey’s presence alone makes a difference on the field because of the respect he garners from his teammates.
Ramsey, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, had 77 tackles and four interceptions during the Rams’ Super Bowl-winning 2021 season.
“You’ve got to respect the way he works day in and day out,” Tagovailoa said. “As we’ve started the season, as we’ve went through training camp. Just seeing him working by himself doing things that allow him to get back on the field as soon as possible. He’s earned a lot of respect from the guys in the locker room.”
NOTES: C Connor Williams (groin) and CB Xavien Howard (groin) did not practice Wednesday, and both are day to day, according to McDaniel. … RB Jeff Wilson, whom the team recently designated to return from IR, could have played last Sunday but wasn’t activated because of gameday roster limits. … T Terron Armstead (knee) is “feeling really confident and ready to contribute when that time comes,” McDaniel said.
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