For most of the 2014 season, the Miami Dolphins have carried three active running backs. Lamar Miller is the starter, with Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams behind him. The fourth running back was expected to be Knowshon Moreno, but his season ended after multiple injuries, including a torn ligament in his knee. Now, it appears, the Dolphins will be promoting LaMichael James from the practice squad to round out the running back corps.
James will fill the roster spot vacated by left tackle Branden Albert, who landed on injured reserve today after a knee injury during Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions.
After two seasons (plus a game) with the San Francisco 49ers, James is thought to have asked for his release from the team earlier this year when it became clear he was not going to be instrumental in the offense and had been surpassed as the primary kickoff and punt returner for the club. The team has denied this, but it is the general consideration. The Dolphins initially offered him a practice squad position in early September, but he appeared to balk at it, instead choosing to explore if there was a roster spot on another team's 53-man roster. When nothing materialized, James returned to the Dolphins and has spent about six weeks with the club.
Now, he will get his opportunity to get back in the game.
In his time with the 49ers, James recorded 41 rushing attempts for 184 yards and five receptions for 45 yards. He has averaged 10.9 yards per punt return (23 attempts) and 28.4 yards per kick return (26 attempts).
Current Dolphins returner, rookie Jarvis Landry, is averaging just 7.9 yards per punt return, but an even 32 yards per kick return, good enough for the top spot in the NFL.
The Dolphins face the Buffalo Bills on Thursday.