The Miami Dolphins are back on the practice field today after having the past four days off. The team returns from the CBA required break healthy and ready to move into preparation for the second game against the New York Jets this season. Every Miami player, to include the "Physical Unable to Perform" list Jonas Gray was a full participant in practice today, save cornerback Richard Marshall.
Marshall has missed practice over the past month, and has been ruled out of the last two Dolphins' games due to a back injury. During his absence, third year corner Nolan Carroll has stepped into the starting position and has developed nicely. He's not a dominating corner, but he has clearly not been the train wreck many fans expected. Cornerback-turned-safety Jimmy Wilson, who has had spot playing time at cornerback throughout the season in multiple wide receiver formations, has served as the team's nickelback during Marshall's absence.
Gray has joined the Dolphins' workouts for the first time this season after being listed as "Physically Unable to Perform" during the preseason. Gray, an undrafted free agent running back, has been working to rehab an ACL injury he suffered last year at Notre Dame. Any player placed on the PUP list is inactive, and does not use a roster position, for the team's first six weeks of the season. The team then has three weeks to evaluate the player's status before either releasing him, signing him to the 53-man roster, placing him on the practice squad, or placing him on injured reserve.
The Dolphins currently have a full 53-man roster and a full practice squad. If the team decides to keep Gray, a personnel transaction will have to be made. The Dolphins have four halfbacks, Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas, Lamar Miller, and Marcus Thigpen, and fullback Jorvorskie Lane, already on the roster.
Wide receiver Jabar Gaffeny appears to be competing for a role as the third wide receiver for Miami. After the Dolphins' Week 6 win over the St. Louis Rams, wide out Marlon Moore seemed to establish himself as the leader in the team's search for a third receiving option. However, it now appears, at least from today's practice, that Moore and Gaffney are both being considered for the position. Gaffeny signed with the Dolphins before the team's Week 5 contest against the Cincinnati Bengals, but has not been active for either game due to his recovery from a leg injury and his lack of understanding of the playbook. With the additional two weeks of workouts and studying, Gaffney could be ready to make his 2012 debut against the Jets this week.
Finally, a side note from the South Florida Sun Sentinel's Omar Kelly, safety Chris Clemons has shaved of his dreads during the bye week.