The Miami Dolphins’ offense has taken a few hits this week, with running back Myles Gaskin landing on injured reserve with a knee injury, running back Matt Breida being ruled out of the game with a hamstring injury, and wide receiver Lynn Bowden, Jr., being placed on the COVID-19 list. Heading into a showdown with the Arizona Cardinals that will include just the second start of Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s career, Miami’s offense needs as many weapons as possible.
The team seems poised to allow one potential weapon to make his NFL debut on Sunday. According to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, Miami traveled to Arizona with practice squad wide receiver Kirk Merritt. That would seem to indicate the Dolphins will elevate the undrafted rookie to the gameday roster using the NFL’s new temporary promtion rule. This season, teams are allowed to include in their 48-man roster on game day up to two practice squad players without needing to sign them to the active roster. The players are then eligible to play, but revert to the practice squad after the game. An individual player is only allowed to be elevated under this rule twice in a season. Miami has already reached the two-time elevation limit on cornerback Tae Hayes and defensive lineman Benito Jones.
Merritt had legal and other issues in college, spending time at Oregon, Texas A&M, East Mississippi Community College, and Arkansas State before moving up to the NFL. He is a freakish athlete, including a 62-inch vertical leap and a 4.33-second 40-yard dash. In his two seasons, 2018 and 2019, at Arkansas State, Merritt recorded 153 receptions for 1,811 yards with 19 touchdowns.
If elevated, Merritt will join DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, Jakeem Grant, Malcolm Perry, and Mack Hollins in the potential receiver rotation. Kickoff on Sunday is at 4:25pm ET.