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Miami Dolphins 2020 depth chart: Early 53-man roster predictions and bubble watch

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The 2020 NFL season will kickoff in September, with team beginning a 17-week march toward the playoffs. Between now and the start of the regular season, teams will - assuming no impacts from the coronavirus pandemic - open training camps, conduct preseason games, and, ultimately, whittle their offseason rosters down to the regular season roster limit of 53 players.

This year, in-game rosters will be a little different. There has been talk that NFL rosters were expanding to 55 players, and, in a way, it is. But, that is a game-day count of players eligible to be on the active roster for that week’s game, not an actual roster increase. Teams are still limited to 53 players on the roster. Practice squads in 2020 increase from 10 to 12 players, then will expand again in 2022 to 14 players. It is a new option with the practice squad that appears to make the roster limit expanded to 55.

A section of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement allowed teams to elevate a practice squad player to the active roster for game day if an active player had a contagious disease. The elevation was only for that week’s game and the player was immediately returned to the practice squad upon the game’s conclusion. It stopped teams from having to do a roster move to create space for the practice squad player based on what was likely a short-term issue for the ill player, and it prevented teams from having to waive the practice squad player after the game in order to return him to the practice squad.

Under the new CBA, that elevation is no longer limited to just a contagious disease issue. Teams can elevate up to two players each week to the active roster without signing them from the practice squad or having to waive them following the game. Thus, an appearance that the active roster has expanded to 55 players eligible for the game.

Of course, there are some caveats. A player may only be elevated twice during a season before he has to be added to the 53-man roster if the team wants him for that week’s game. A player also cannot be elevated for consecutive games.

Previously, teams were allowed 46 players to be active on game day, with seven players being listed as inactive 90-minutes prior to kickoff. Starting in 2020, teams can have 47 players active for the game, and are allowed to have a 48th player, as long as they have eight active offensive linemen. The idea is to make additional offensive line depth available each week, allowing either for a rotation of linemen similar to defensive line rotations, or to prevent situations where one or two injuries decimate available offensive linemen coming off the bench.

That was all a really long way of saying, rosters are still limited to 53 players, with an option of bringing two practice squad players into the game-day eligible pool, and a team can have up to 48 players active each week with five inactives.

Now that all of that is explained, it is time to take an early look at the Miami Dolphins’ 2020 offseason roster and predict how the 53-man roster could be made. We will build a depth chart for the team, list players who likely will be cut, and try to project the players who are on the bubble to make the team.

Miami Dolphins Offense (25)

Quarterbacks (3)

Starter: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Depth: Tua Tagovailoa, Josh Rosen
Bubble: None
Cuts: Jake Rudock

Running backs (4)

Starters: Jordan Howard, Matt Breida
Depth: Kalen Ballage, Patrick Laird
Bubble: Myles Gaskin, Malcolm Perry
Cuts: De’Lance Turner

Fullback (1)

Starter: Chandler Cox
Depth: None
Bubble: None
Cuts: None

Wide receivers (5)

Starters: DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, Albert Wilson
Depth: Jakeem Grant, Allen Hurns
Bubble: Isaiah Ford, Ricardo Louis, Gary Jennings
Cuts: Matt Cole, Kirk Merritt, Mack Hollins

Tight ends (3)

Starter: Mike Gesicki
Depth: Durham Smythe, Michael Roberts
Bubble: Chris Myarick
Cuts: Bryce Sterk

Offensive line (9)

Left tackle: Austin Jackson
Left guard: Ereck Flowers
Center: Ted Karras
Right guard: Robert Hunt
Right tackle: Jesse Davis
Depth: Julién Davenport, Solomon Kindley, Shaq Calhoun, Michael Deiter
Bubble: Danny Isidora, Keaton Sutherland, Nick Kaltmayer
Cuts: Donnell Standley, Adam Pankey, Jonathan Hubbard

Miami Dolphins Defense (25)

Defensive ends (4)

Starter: Shaq Lawson, Christian Wilkins
Depth: Emmanuel Ogbah, Jason Strowbridge
Bubble: Avery Moss, Zach Sieler, Durval Queiroz Neto
Cuts: Tyshun Render

Nose tackles (2)

Starter: Davon Godchaux
Depth: Raekwon Davis
Bubble: Ray Lima, Benito Jones
Cuts: None

Outside linebackers (5)

Starters: Kyle Van Noy, Andrew Van Ginkel
Depth: Vince Biegel, Sam Eguavoen, Curtis Weaver
Bubble: Trent Harris
Cuts: James Crawford

Inside linebackers (4)

Starters: Jerome Baker, Raekwon McMillan
Depth: Elandon Roberts, Kamu Grugier-Hill
Bubble: Calvin Munson
Cuts: Kylan Johnson

Cornerbacks (6)

Starters: Xavien Howard, Noah Igbinoghene, Byron Jones
Depth: Cordrea Tankersley, Nik Needham, Jamal Perry
Bubble: Ken Webster, Nate Brooks, Ryan Lewis, Clayton Fejedelem
None: Tae Hayes

Safeties (4)

Starters: Bobby McCain, Eric Rowe
Depth: Brandon Jones, Adrian Colbert
Bubble: None
Cuts: Kavon Frazier

Miami Dolphins Specialists (3)

Kicker: Jason Sanders
Punter: Matt Haack
Long Snapper: Blake Ferguson