The Miami Dolphins may be adding another piece to their linebacker corps this week as it appears free agent addition Rey Maualuga is in position to make his debut with the team. The Dolphins signed Maualuga to provide depth - and potentially start - at middle linebacker after rookie Raekwon McMillan was lost for the season in the first preseason game. Maualuga, who played eight seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, has been sidelined this summer for conditioning issues, then sustained a hamstring injury in practice.
If Maualuga plays, he would join the team a week after another free agent acquisition, linebacker Lawrence Timmons, made his debut with the club. Timmons missed the team’s first game of the year after leaving the team Saturday night before the Sunday game in order to fly back to Pennsylvania to see his child. The Dolphins then suspended him for their season game for the infraction.
The Dolphins, 1-2 on the season after their week one game was postponed due to Hurricane Irma, could have something like the opening-day linebacker corps they envisioned after signing Maualuga for the first time this year. Kiko Alonso, the one returning starter from last year, has started all three games thus far this season.
“The way I’ve been practicing with the first group, I would hope that I’m ready to go and they’ve got all the trust in me to go in there, line up and get the job done,” Maualuga said this week, according to Dolphins.com reporter Alain Poupart. “I have all the confidence in the world with all the work that I’ve done off the field and taking care of my body that good things will happen.”
Maualuga has not been on the injury report this week.
“I think it will be a good first game to come back to,” Maualuga continued. “I think we’ve got a good game plan. We had a good couple days of practice and everyone has a good head on their shoulders.”
Miami will face the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, their first game in Hard Rock Stadium this year. Kickoff is scheduled for 1pm ET.