The Miami Dolphins saw several players sustain injuries during their last game, a 30-14 beat down at the hands of the San Diego Chargers. By the end of the game, the Dolphins were using an offensive line that featured players playing out of position and players making their NFL debut trying to block the blindside of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Defense saw their own rotation of players deep on the depth chart as starter Jelani Jenkins was inactive for the game, while the team used a combination of five other players to try to fill the three linebacker positions.
Tuesday saw Miami make a series of roster moves, looking to bolster the depth both along the offensive line and in the linebackers corps. For the offensive line, Miami added center/guard Jacques McClendon and guard Shelley Smith. McClendon has been bouncing off and on the Dolphins' roster all season, starting as a free agent this past offseason. He stayed with the team through training camp and the preseason, before being released in the last round of preseason roster cuts. He then signed back with the Dolphins after Week 1, making one appearance in the team's Week 2 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, before being released again before Week 3. He returned to the Dolphins on December 1, but was waived two weeks later. He now returns to the team in an effort to add depth behind 2016 Pro Bowl selection Mike Pouncey, who had to leave last week's game with a foot injury.
Smith spent the 2014 season with the Dolphins, appearing in 11 games for the club with three starts. He began his career as a sixth-round draft pick of the Houston Texans in 2010, spending nearly three years with the team. He was claimed off waivers at the end of the 2012 season by the St. Louis Rams, where he finished that season and played in 2013. Smith has appeared in 36 games in his career, with 11 starts. Smith was released by Miami as free agency started last March.
The linebacker position grouping saw the return of James-Michael Johnson on Tuesday. Johnson spent a brief two-week stint with the Dolphins earlier this year and has also been with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, and Jacksonville Jaguars this season. Johnson began his career with the Cleveland Browns, who selected him fourth in the 2012 Draft. He appeared in 10 games as a rookie, with eight starts before moving to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013 and 2014. He has 45 career appearances with 18 starts, recording 101 tackles with 1 sack, 2 passes defensed, and 2 forced fumbles.
To make roster space, Miami placed linebackers Koa Misi and Chris McCain on injured reserve. The Dolphins also picked up an additional roster spot that had been tied to the team's poaching of defensive tackle Robert Thomas II, who the team grabbed off the New England Patriots' practice squad three-weeks ago, but placed him on injured reserve after his first game with the Dolphins resulted in a serious elbow injury.